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Premier League's Adrian Clarke explains Ayew's tactical significance

9 April 2020

In a regular series looking at key players in the tactical set-ups of top flight clubs, former professional Adrian Clarke dissects Jordan Ayew's significance in Crystal Palace's season so far, pulling out his tactical strengths and the stats that matter.

Clarke begins by highlighting the clearest attribute Ayew brings to the team: goals. He shows that, while Roy Hodgson has moved the Ghanaian to a wider role to accommodate a front three in recent matches, the 28-year-old has maintained his consistency in front of goal.

Remarkably, Ayew's eight strikes have also been worth 14 points to the Eagles this season - with two equalisers and a remarkable five winners notched between them.

Clarke goes on to highlight other strings in Ayew's bow, saying: "Off the ball, Ayew wins possession back for Palace in good areas, and only four forwards in the competition have won more 50-50 duels.

"In addition to his underrated finishing ability, with a 22.2 per cent conversion rate, it is Ayew’s dribbling that stands out. Able to bundle his way past defenders or beat them with quick feet, he is one of the Premier League’s trickiest customers. 

"Teammate Zaha is the only forward to have won more free-kicks and penalties than Ayew, who has been fouled an incredible 75 times."

Ayew has been victim of the second most fouls in the Premier League this season.

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