Belfast Telegraph

UK Website Of The Year

Swansea have set standard to avoid future relegation battles, says Jordan Ayew

Jordan Ayew believes Swansea have set the standard to prevent being involved in another Premier League relegation battle.

Swansea have spent the last two seasons battling against the drop amid upheaval at both boardroom and management level.

The Welsh club were heading for relegation at the halfway stage this term with only 12 points from 19 games.

But Paul Clement's arrival sparked a remarkable recovery which saw them finish 15th and secured a seventh season of Premier League football in August.

"It was a really stressful season, and now we need to rest well and come back fresh," said Ayew, who arrived from Aston Villa in January as one of Clement's first signings.

"We know what to do when we come back, we've set our standards.

"We have ended with 29 points (in the second half of season) and that is a really good tally.

"We need to build on this now and hopefully next season we will not have this situation.

"That's our plan because we want to keep the momentum going for next season."

Key to that ambition will be Swansea hanging on to their best players this summer, with strike pair Gylfi Sigurdsson and Fernando Llorente coveted by Premier League rivals.

Icelandic playmaker Sigurdsson, who has been linked with Everton and Tottenham, scored nine times and had 13 assists, while 15-goal Llorente was targeted by Chelsea during the January transfer window.

Both players have publicly stated they are at happy in south Wales, and head coach Clement said on Sunday ahead of a meeting with the club's American owners that Swansea "are not a club that needs to sell".

Ghana international Ayew said: "It is important to keep everyone, the team spirit has been magnificent.

"Gylfi and Llorente are great players and were obviously part of our survival season.

"They have been scoring goals and making assists and we need to keep them."

Swansea's survival act spared Ayew a second successive Premier League relegation as he was part of the Villa squad which finished bottom last season.

"I knew when I was coming here I had the chance to go back to the Championship," Ayew said after opening his Swansea goal account in the 2-1 win over West Brom on Sunday.

"But I had confidence in the style of play in the squad and the coach before I came.

"I did my maximum best and am fully satisfied with what I could bring to the team, individually and collectively.

"Even when the goals weren't there I thought I was doing really well and playing good football.

"The best is yet to come from me, because next season I know I will be at Swansea and will have good preparation."

Swansea have confirmed eight players will leave the club when their contracts expire this summer.

Among the players released are German goalkeeper Gerhard Tremmel and Dutch forward Marvin Emnes.

Tremmel, 38, made only 52 appearances in six seasons at Swansea, but he was part of the side which won the League Cup in 2013 by beating Bradford 5-0 at Wembley.

Emnes had two loan spells at Swansea before eventually joining the club on a permanent basis in 2014.

The 28-year-old former Middlesbrough man scored six goals in 36 appearances and spent most of last season on loan at Blackburn in the Sky Bet Championship.

Alex Samuel, who has agreed a two-year deal with Stevenage, Liam Shephard, Josh Vickers, Owain Jones, Tom Dyson and Tom Holland are also leaving the Premier League club.

Wales Under-21 midfielder Josh Sheehan has been offered a monthly contract.

Sheehan, 22, scored seven goals in 25 appearances during a loan spell at Newport last season before suffering an anterior cruciate ligament injury.

Popular

From Belfast Telegraph