Jordan Ayew was on cloud nine, even if, not uncharacteristically, he seemed remarkably unruffled by all the buzz around him.

It was, most likely, the most confident he had ever strode into a Black Stars post-match press conference.

And why not?

The 32-year-old had just marked his first Ghana cap in triple figures — only the third to reach 100 games for the national team — with a hat-trick. His only previous treble, right ahead of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, came in a long-forgotten friendly against South Korea, but this one proved more impactful and will linger in the memory.

Jordan's maiden appearance as a centurion had seen him put on a clinic, bringing to the fore his best attributes and then some, as Ghana overcame a plucky Central African Republic (CAR) on Monday to temporarily go top of their 2026 World Cup qualifying group. Comoros would regain control of Group I with victory over pointless Chad the next day, but the Black Stars’ chances of being part of the North American showpiece are looking brighter now than they did before this international break.

And Jordan had a lot to do with that. 

Just four days before his masterclass against the CAR, he had come off the bench to snatch a seemingly unlikely win away to Mali. If a woman had conceived the last time Ghana won back-to-back games, the baby would have been delivered just in time to see the Black Stars do so again — thanks, largely, to Jordan's heroics.

On a personal level, too, Jordan had reason to revel. His four-goal haul in these two games means he has scored in each of Ghana's last five matches, going back to the ill-fated duel with Mozambique at the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) earlier this year: eight strikes in all.

It is, by any measure, the most prolific run in his long international career; for context, his previous sequence of eight Ghana goals took just shy of five years to put together. His beaming smile — and Jordan doesn't smile a great deal — as he encountered the press after the CAR game, then, barely expressed the immense satisfaction the Crystal Palace attacker felt within.

But then came a question that, though irrelevant on this occasion, Jordan may have suspected was always going to come up, regarding a subject that had dominated much of the conversation before the Black Stars’ latest games but which, apparently, some members of the media haven't had enough of.

It concerned the rare absence of his older brother and skipper Andre Ayew from the first competitive games of head coach Otto Addo's second coming — something along the lines of how much he missed him.

Jordan didn't quite roll his eyes in response, but, then again, he didn't actually get to respond at all; Addo, also present, would spare his ‘golden boy’ the trouble of having to reply.

“Let me talk for Jordan,” the trainer interjected.

“It’s his brother. Sure, he wants him to be next to him, but what will happen: it’s my decision, it’s our coaching staff’s decision.”

Jordan himself could not have put it any better, especially the first part of Addo's answer.

With Andre by his side — which has almost always been the case since his debut some 14 years ago — he has always looked happier in the Black Stars camp and on the pitch. That much is beyond doubt. The argument for whether he actually plays better with Andre, though, is not quite as compelling.

There haven't been many memorable occasions, if any, when the brothers have linked up to particularly decisive effect for the Black Stars. If anything, it has felt, though perhaps subtly, that the typically conservative Jordan has remained in the shadows of his more vibrant sibling.

It may not be entirely coincidental, then, that Jordan's recent pre-eminence for the Black Stars has come during a period when skipper Andre has become a peripheral figure in the team. Only one of Jordan's last eight international goals (the second against Mozambique) have come with Andre on the field, as a second-half substitute — and the latter would not forget his unwitting role in starting the series of events that quickly undid Jordan's best work on the night to turn what seemed like certain victory into a rather unhelpful draw.

At this moment, then, it would be hard for anyone to argue that Jordan is worse off for Andre's diminished presence. It certainly affords him greater room to thrive and step up as the most experienced player out there, to assume the prominence which is only rightly due a player who has so dutifully served the country all these years.

If there is room for just one Ayew in the Black Stars right now, it belongs to Jordan; clearly, he is quite capable now of looking after not just himself, but also the national team, in the absence of his big brother.

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DISCLAIMER: The Views, Comments, Opinions, Contributions and Statements made by Readers and Contributors on this platform do not necessarily represent the views or policy of Multimedia Group Limited.