Swansea’s Ghanaian forward Andre Ayew hit back at West Ham’s sacked director of recruitment Tony Henry for calling into question the attitude of African players.
Henry was dismissed by the London club on Friday following an investigation into a report by the Daily Mail newspaper that Henry said West Ham wanted to limit their number of African players because “they have a bad attitude” and “cause mayhem” when they are not in the team.
“I just know that we African players are proud of ourselves, we know where we have come from, and we believe in our football,” said Ayew, who left West Ham to rejoin Swansea in an £18 million deal last week.
“African players — like Didier Drogba — have played at the greatest clubs in the world and done their jobs.
“We have done a lot to get into professional football and African footballers now play for Barcelona, Real Madrid and Chelsea.
“It’s an honour to be an African. I am so proud and so happy and I wouldn’t change it for anything.”
West Ham’s Senegalese midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate posted “African and proud” on his Instagram account the day after Henry’s comments were made public.
Ayew could make his second Swansea debut at home to Burnley on Saturday after recovering from a hamstring problem.
And he is hoping for a return to the form he showed in scoring 12 goals in his sole previous season with Swansea in 2015/16 to help keep the Welsh side in the Premier League.
“It wasn’t a really difficult decision,” added Ayew, who will be reunited with little brother and former Marseille team-mate Jordan Ayew on his return.
“I looked at other options, but I felt like my job here wasn’t yet done.”