Jordan Ayew has revealed he feels like a player reborn after joining Swansea City.
Ayew scored his long-awaited first Swans goal as Paul Clement’s men beat West Brom to round off a rousing climax to the 2016-17 season.
It was a landmark strike for the Ghana star, whose time in English football had seemed set to come to an end until he signed for the Swans in January.
Former Marseille starlet Ayew joined Aston Villa from French club Lorient in the summer of 2015.
But his first season in the Premier League ended in tears – even though he finished as Villa’s top scorer – as the Midlands club were relegated.
Having spent the first half of his second year at Villa playing in the Championship, Ayew thought he was set for a return to France until the Swans agreed a swap deal involving Neil Taylor.
And having followed in older brother Andre’s footsteps by switching to the Liberty, the 25-year-old admits he is loving life in Wales.
“It has not been easy for me this season,” Ayew said.
“I came from Aston Villa in January. I was lucky the club had confidence in me and brought me here.
“I don’t know what to say – thank you is not enough.
“I am so happy here. I feel like I have been reborn.
“The supporters have been wonderful. The gaffer, the staff – everyone has been wonderful to me. I just thank God.
“It was not easy this year, but I thank God. I really believe in God and without him I wouldn’t be where I am today.
“I thank him and I thank Swansea for giving me this chance.”
Ayew powered home a header to make it 1-1 against West Brom before Fernando Llorente’s 86th-minute goal gave the Swans victory.
It was a joyous afternoon for the Swans at the end of what was for long spells a taxing season.
And it was a memorable day for Ayew, whose last club goal came for Villa at Reading back in October.
“I was really, really pleased to get my first goal,” he added.
“I think the supporters, the staff – everybody in the club was behind me. The only thing I could do to pay them back was to score a goal, so I am really happy I could do that against West Brom.
“My family were at the game too, so that made it even sweeter. It’s an amazing feeling to be safe, to go on holidays with this good feeling.
“I have to join up with my national team but I have one week off and I can enjoy it now. Then I will come back fresh next season.”
Ayew took a while to make an impact in a Swans shirt, but became increasingly influential as the season wore on and was an important outlet for his team as they finished with a flourish.
Nevertheless, he feels he will improve next season.
“The best is yet to come from me,” Ayew declared.
“Next season I’m going to be at Swansea from the start so I’m going to have a good preparation and hopefully I’ll have a wonderful season.
“We have set the standard now and we need to continue like that next season.”