Heavily-linked Jordan Ayew has potential to be prolific goalscorer at Villa Park

Aston Villa

Aston Villa are closing in on signing of Jordan Ayew from Lorient, suggest reports.

According to The Guardian, Aston Villa have agreed terms with FC Lorient that will see them pay up to £12 million for the services of promising striker Jordan Ayew.

The Ghanaian international is now due for a medical in the next 24 hours before committing himself to Tim Sherwood's side.

Although only 23 years of age, Ayew has been playing top-flight football since the 2009-10 season. The Ghanaian international can play anywhere across the forward line, which would make him a very versatile option for the Villains. He featured most regularly as a centre-forward for Lorient last term, but when playing for his country he has learned to play behind the strikers, or drift out wide. 

Ayew is renowned for his desire to be the match-winner, which has led to previous criticism regarding his selfish-ness as a player.

This is translated in the statistics, with no player at Lorient or Villa, including Christian Benteke, recording more shots at goal per appearance than the 23-year-old (3.6) last term, 59% of which proved accurate. 

He also excels at holding and carrying the ball, running at the opposition and, often, winning free-kicks for his team in imposing areas. 

Happy with ball in front of him, running at defenders, he is also able to play with his back to goal, displaying the ability to bring people into the attack. It is also a bonus that he his adept with both feet.

For Villa who - as the stats prove - are not a team for taking on the opposition with blistering skill and dribbling technique, a striker who takes the ball from deep and runs at defenders is a tremendous asset. Last term, only Carles Gil (3.6), Fabian Delph (2.2) and Jack Grealish (1.4) completed more take ons per game than Ayew (1.2).

Perhaps the main concern for Villa fans will be the player's goal output. Despite being a top-flight regular for over five years now, last term was the first Ligue 1 campaign in which he was able to reach double figures (12 goals in 31 appearances). Previously, seven league goals in 35 matches for Marseille represented his best effort. 

Benteke finished the previous campaign as Villa's top scorer, with 13 goals to his name, despite only coming to life during the second half on the season.

Ayew's strike rate of one goal every 218 minutes, compared to the Belgian's 183, will certainly need to be improved upon if he wishes to be held in high regard by the Midland outfit's fan base. 

For a reported £12 million, the value in this deal comes from Ayew's potential. The pacey 23-year-old scores goals and is good in the air.

While he may not arrive at Villa Park the same standard as the departed Benteke, he has the ability to reach that of the Belgian international within the next few seasons, especially under the conscientious eye of Villains boss Tim Sherwood. 

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