Villa fans were treated to a glimpse into the mind of new owner Dr Tony Xia as he took to Twitter on Sunday evening to interact with fans. It was a refreshing move by Villa’s top man and we can but hope that he genuinely wants to keep the club’s fans in the loop.
It would be easy to read too much into some of Dr Xia’s rather cryptic messages, although one that stood out for Villa fans was the clear suggestion that Jordan Ayew would be staying at Villa Park for the 2016-17 season.
What was said?
In response to a fan, the owner tweeted, “BTW Ayew will stay as I. I trust RDM too and he is confident to a good squad”.
Dodgy English aside, it is quite clear that our owner expects one of last season’s better performers to stay at the club. There is no doubt that Jordan Ayew is a great talent and he would surely be one of the best attacking players in the Championship in the upcoming season. Is he what we need for the long slog to come?
Is Ayew the man to fire us back up?
I don’t think so, at least not on his own. His best position is still up for debate yet it is obvious that he isn’t the sort of number nine we need to bag us twenty-five goals or more. As a second striker or as a wide forward in a front three he’ll cause a lot of Championship defenders sleepless nights.
The biggest question is whether his attitude is right. When he arrived last summer, he immediately said all the right things to win over the Villa Park faithful and he was one of the few players who gave 100% week in, week out.
However, we’ve seen his darker side too. His horribly petulant and cynical sending off at West Ham was a turning point of the season: Aston Villa had been the better side until Ayew’s early dismissal and a win that night could have been the confidence boost needed to turn things around.
Will he stay?
The owner’s confidence is either very naïve or based on hard fact. Either way, it will reflect quite badly on Dr Xia if Ayew does go.
Reports have started circulating that an £8 million bid has been lodged by Hamburg SV for Ayew’s services so we may find out soon if the Ghanain is committed to the claret and blue cause. I wouldn’t begrudge him a move but if he were to stay there’s no doubt he would boost our attacking options. All we would need is a goal-scoring front man to complement Ayew’s skill and work rate.
Over to you, Tony…