Ghana coach CK Akonnor has expressed excitement by the exploits of Crystal Palace striker Jordan Ayew in the Premier League.
Back in action for the first time in three months due to the coronavirus disruptions, the 28-year-old highlighted his importance for The Eagles with a neat finish to ensure a 2-0 away triumph over Bournemouth on Saturday.
He has so far notched nine goals in 29 league matches this season, standing as the club’s top scorer.
“I feel good and it’s good for us as a football nation and he is gradually growing to become a big name in the premiership and we are all happy,” Akonnor told Starr Sports.
“I personally have some liking for him, the way he is growing, being a very young man and the way he is now maturing into a big player and somebody who always leads the attack, I think it’s a great thing.
“I will encourage him to continue with his fine form, it’s a great thing and it will always help us.”
There was more to Ayew’s Saturday strike than just drawing him close to double figures as it put him clear as the highest-scoring Ghanaian in the history of the Premier League with 25 goals.
He tied former Leeds United forward Anthony Yeboah on 24 goals ahead of the weekend fixture.
Seven of the France-born’s strikes came while he was on the books of Aston Villa, eight while with Swansea City and 10 at Palace.
He reached the 25-goal mark in 129 matches while Yeboah scored his 24 goals in 47 appearances.
Ayew is also on the brink of breaking another record, this time at Palace, with eight more matches to the end of the season.
The attacker’s goals so far have won Palace 14 points in this term, leaving him just one point behind Andrew Johnson’s contribution in 2004-05 as no single player has collected The Eagles more points in Premier League history.
Ayew joined Palace in January 2019 for a half-season loan stint from Swansea. Despite a frustrating spell which yielded only one league goal, the striker was signed on a permanent deal at the end of the season.
He first came to England in 2015, signing for Villa from French side Lorient. In January 2017, he left for Swansea.
While in France, Ayew also played for Sochaux and Olympique Marseille.
Ghana’s top scorer at the Africa Cup of Nations (Afcon) in Egypt last year, Ayew will be expected to continue his fine form in national colours when the Black Stars face Sudan in an Afcon 2021 qualifying double-header in October.