Andre Ayew has undoubtedly been one of the most talked about young talents in football over the course of the last year.
After starring with Ghana at the World Cup, he has since drawn praise from Manchester United coach Sir Alex Ferguson and been associated with moves to both the Red Devils and Barcelona.
Meanwhile, in a rather quieter fashion, younger brother Jordan is cutting his teeth in the professional game no less impressively.
Little under two years younger than Andre, 19-year-old Jordan has made quite an impression at the Stade Velodrome since breaking into the squad on a permanent basis at the turn of the year.
Indeed, the busy attacker has only played 648 minutes of league football prior to Saturday night’s encounter against Valenciennes, but he has all the making of a fans’ favourite in Provence, having impressed the home support more quickly than Andre managed when he first broke into the team.
There will be no loan spell in the second division for Jordan, as he quickly won Didier Deschamps’ confidence with a series of bright performances from the bench.
His offensive exuberance quickly became clear, and bursting with confidence, the left-sided player, who plays with a bright style not unlike his brother’s, has even started to make inroads into the starting XI.
With the form of Mathieu Valbuena questionable and big money signing Andre-Pierre Gignac still struggling to settle, Jordan has started three of OM’s last four matches, having made his real breakthrough performance against Nice in a crucial derby at the end of April.
Needing a source of inspiration with half an hour remaining, Deschamps elected to withdraw Gignac and deploy the younger of the Ayew brothers.
It was a move that smacked of desperation to those unaware of the teenage Ghanaian’s talents, but it proved to be an inspirational change. Immediately the Marseille-born winger was into the action, setting up a goal for his brother following a rampaging charge into the box. He would have a goal of his own 18 minutes later, capping a memorable night.
Though he was overlooked for the crucial trip to Lyon – a match lost by 3-2 by OM – Jordan was back involved at home against Brest in a match that les Phoceens had to win to maintain their championship hopes. An impudent chip into the far corner of the net made the game safe as the home support acclaimed their bright young star.
In the 2-2 draw against Lorient last weekend, a strong case could be put forward to suggest that the teenager was Marseille’s best player. He was a constant nuisance with his speed and willingness, though even his efforts were not enough to induce a winning performance when OM most needed it.
Symbolically, Andre was chosen to be replaced in front of Jordan, highlighting the impact the youngster has had in such a short space of time.
After such an explosive beginning to his career, there are rightly high hopes of the potential African superstar next term, and his challenge will be matching these expectations.
Due to their inability to find an effective centre forward this season, Marseille will likely be forced into the transfer market for new players. Increased competition for attacking berths will inevitably mean that Jordan will have to fight gamely to play, but if he can show the kind of form next year that he has done this, there is little stopping him matching, or even eclipsing his older brother.
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