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September 20 2020 5.40am

Was Ayew the best value striker signing of 2019/20?

August 13 2020

Jordan Ayew

Jordan Ayew

It was a quiet season for big-name striker transfers, writes Laura Barker.

As a new permanent signing, we thought that it might just be possible that Jordan Ayew, Palace’s fan and players’ Player of the Year winner, is the league’s best value striker signing of 2019/20.

To look into this, we eliminated players who have come through the ranks (Mason Greenwood), free transfers (Danny Welbeck), loanees (Odion Ighalo), and any striker transfers who didn’t score in the Premier League (Andy Carroll) while looking exclusively at league performances.

These criteria left us with 12 signings listed as strikers when they transferred in 2019/20.

The contending new signing strikers

Sealing a permanent move after a decent loan spell, Jordan Ayew immediately presents himself as a strong return on investment, scoring nine goals and teeing up two more in 37 Premier League appearances.

On the flip side, however, there are the forwards who went goal-crazy throughout the season, with their lofty tallies perhaps evening the values.

In one of the comeback stories of the season, Danny Ings overcame an injury-struck spell at Liverpool, and injury problems last season on loan to Southampton, to become a Golden Boot contender. His 22 league goals with two assists was a fantastic return, and the Saints managed to bag the 28-year-old for a relative bargain at under £20 million.

Another star of the season who made their loan of 2018/19 permanent for this campaign was Raul Jimenez. The Mexican was relentless for Wolverhampton Wanderers, scoring a total of 26 goals in all competitions.

Now, Wolves will be looking to their star striker to make good on their rating to win the Europa League, with the football betting placing the Midlands club as the fourth-favourites at 7/1 to claim the trophy.

As well as Ings and Jimenez, Ayew has had Haller, Joelinton, Moise Kean, Wesley, Neal Maupay, Oliver McBurnie, Che Adams, Lys Mousset, and Jay Rodriguez to contend with, but who proved to be the most valuable?

Ayew up there with the most valuable new striker signings

In the table below, you can see the rankings of all of the qualifying new striker signings in the Premier League for 2019/20, with them initially ranked by their transfer fee cost per goals scored and then games needed per direct goal contribution.

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Of course, this is a fairly shallow look at the value of signings, with aspects like their other contributions and minutes per appearance not considered.

That said, Ayew clearly comes off as the best value in regards to the transfer fee paid to goals scored. The Ghanaian also fares quite well when looking at his games per goal contribution, finishing fifth.

It should also be noted that of the top six, in terms of the fee paid per goal in the league average, five of them had played in the Premier League beforehand, with only Neal Maupay being a true newcomer.

Simply put: Ayew enjoyed a superb season with Palace, scoring far more goals than his transfer fee would suggest.

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