West Ham star should settle fast around former Marseille mate

80/1

TOP BET

West Ham to finish in the top six

West Ham have added yet another attacking option to their squad, bringing in Swansea’s Andre Ayew for a £20.5m fee.

The Ghanaian penned a three-year deal with the Hammers, one year after netting 12 goals in his debut Premier League campaign with the Welsh outfit.

His price tag makes the 26-year-old West Ham’s record buy, surpassing the £15m forked out for Andy Carroll in 2013.

Although the hefty outlay adds a weight of expectation to Ayew’s West Ham career, a familiar face from his Marseille days should help ease the forward in.

Dimitri Payet – himself a revelation for the Irons in his maiden top-flight campaign last season – shared two terms with Ayew at L’OM before switching to the English capital.

In the first – the 2013/14 season – both players took a while to settle, with Payet joining the club from Lille that summer.

The Frenchman scored eight league goals and provided five assists to his new teammates that year, while Ayew chipped in with six strikes and set up three for the rest of the squad.

The pair started 21 games together in all competitions and only lost eight. However, both were to improve their returns the following season, in Marcelo Bielsa’s only full campaign at the helm.

Payet contributed a whopping 16 league assists that year, while scoring seven goals and catching West Ham’s eye.

Ayew also fled to the Premier League that summer after scoring nine times. In total, the duo won 16 of the 24 games they started in all comps under the Argentine tactician.

Although both players are largely seen as left wingers, they are versatile enough to co-exist in the same side, as these stats show.

Ayew can operate as a striker or from the right wing, while Payet can shift inside to the number 10 position if Slaven Bilic wishes to use Ayew, or one of his many other forward options, on the left.

We make the Hammers 11/4 to finish in the top six this season and 9/2 to get an opening-weekend win over Chelsea.

All Odds and Markets are correct as of the date of publishing.

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Matt Wiggins

No idyllic sound comes close to leather on willow for Matt, whose previous experience includes stints with Spin Magazine and Surrey County Cricket Club. It's not just cricket that interests him though, with football, golf, tennis and any American sport not played on ice all high on his list of favourites.