Premier League • England

Everton, Nottingham Forest learn Andre Ayew transfer fate with deal ‘completed’, as Sean Dyche reveals plan to earn fans’ respect

Nottingham Forest have reportedly beaten Everton to the signing of free agent Andre Ayew, meaning the Blues have missed out on yet another transfer target.

The Toffees were the only Premier League club not to make a signing in the January window, despite sitting joint-bottom of the Premier League with Southampton.

Meanwhile, Sean Dyche has called for ‘unity’ and ‘support’ from Evertonians, after thousands have staged protests against the club’s board in recent weeks.

TEAMtalk reported on Thursday that Andre Ayew was set to choose between either Nottingham Forest or Everton as his next destination after flying to the UK to finalise negotiations.

But now, according to Fabrizio Romano, he has chosen Steve Cooper’s side and will become their 30th signing of the season – a record that is unlikely to be broken anytime soon.

On Twitter, Romano wrote: “Andre Ayew to Nottingham Forest, here we go! Agreement completed now on a six-month deal, Ayew’s already in UK to undergo medical tests.

“Ayew was available as a free agent.”

Across his entire career, Ayew has scored 153 goals in 527 appearances, as well as making 58 assists, giving him an average of 0.4 goal contributions per game.

He has already played three full seasons in the Premier League with Swansea City and West Ham. However, that was five years ago, so it remains to be seen if the 33-year-old can still perform at the highest level.

Ayew most recently played for Al Sadd of the Qatar Stars League. The Ghana veteran scored 21 goals in 39 matches in his 18 months in the Middle East.

Dyche calls for Everton to unite

Despite yet another setback, new Toffees boss Dyche has remained in positive spirits ahead of his first game at the helm against Arsenal on Saturday.

His overriding message is for the fans to unite and support the team despite thousands of Blues staging protests against the club’s board and owners.

Their fury was only heightened after Everton failed to bring in any new additions in January, despite the club’s majority shareholder Farhad Moshiri promising them a new centre-forward.

Speaking in a press conference, Dyche said: “We want the fans to play their part. It is choppy waters, but we want the fans to reconnect with that.

“I’ve got to earn my spurs and I’m willing to put the hard yards in to earn their respect. Wins are those marvellous things in football that seem to solve things, but you have to earn that.

“For me, it’s about the heartbeat of the team and club.

“You don’t get to be an Everton player without laying some markers down in your career as individuals and as a team.

“I think there is technical prowess here.

“We have to unify. We have to. Even the most disgruntled Evertonians at the moment, if they give us a chance to stick by the team.

“The energy changes very quickly when players feel that intensity and support. Just give us a window to breathe, support and play a part in that.”

Everton are set for yet another relegation battle, but this time they will be without the likes of Anthony Gordon and Richarlison, so Dyche has a massive job on his hands.

But, he kept Burnley in the Premier League for many years during his time at Turf Moor, so if anyone can do it, it’s probably Dyche.

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