West Ham striker Andre Ayew could yet face Manchester United after desperate appeal

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic

West Ham United striker Andre Ayew was expected to miss West Ham's big game against Manchester United on Monday.

The Hammers have been desperately short of goals from their strikers for much of the season but the return of Andy Carroll and the ever increasing fitness levels of Andre Ayew have helped stage a recent revival.

Slaven Bilic's side have propelled themselves out of the relegation mix in the last few weeks taking 10 points from the last 12 including three consecutive wins.

Ayew got his first goal for the club in the 4-1 rout of his former side Swansea City last time out and is expected to feature against Leicester City on New Year's Eve.

West Ham United's Andre Ayew looks dejected after a missed chanceWest Ham United's Andre Ayew

That was supposed to be his last action in a West Ham shirt for at least a month, though, with the Ghana captain set to jet off to meet up with his Black Stars teammates ahead of the African Nations.

But there could be some rare good news for Bilic if a desperate appeal from West Ham to Ghana is successful.

According to Ghanasoccernet.com, the Hammers have written to the Ghana Football Association to delay the arrival of Ayew to the Black Stars Africa Cup of Nations camp.

The report says West Ham are mandated to release the player on New Year’s Day which will be 14 days to the start of the tournament in Gabon.

West Ham United manager Slaven Bilic before the matchHammers boss Slaven Bilic

But Bilic needs to use the fit-again forward for home game against Jose Mourinho's Red Devils side on Bank Holiday Monday.

Ayew has divided opinion among West Ham fans since his arrival.

His club record £20.5 million price tag raised eyebrows throughout football and he then suffered a long-term thigh injury just 30 minutes into his debut which ruled him out for four months.

Since returning to the team he has received criticism from some fans who feel he adds little to the side.

But the Ghana skipper looks to be slowly getting back to his best in recent weeks and looked sharp in recent late cameos and got his goal in his start against the Swans.

With Diafra Sakho injured and flop loan signings Simone Zaza and Jonathan Calleri set to return to their parent clubs, West Ham face having to bring in a striker or two in Ayew's AFCON absence.

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