Swansea's Andre Ayew defends African players after criticism at West Ham
Swansea City striker Andre Ayew has defended African players after former West Ham United director of recruitment Tony Henry questioned their attitude.
West Ham sacked Henry after the Daily Mail claimed he said they no longer wanted to sign African players because "they have a bad attitude" and "cause mayhem" when not selected.
Ayew, a Ghana international who left West Ham to rejoin Swansea on transfer deadline day, dismissed the stereotyping of African footballers.
"Maybe an African player can be difficult, but maybe a French or English player can be difficult too," Ayew said. "But maybe an African player can be calm, too, so it's not possible to say everyone is the same. I just know that we African players are proud of ourselves, we know where we have come from, and we believe in our football.
"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 midfielder Cheikhou Kouyate, a Senegal international, posted "African and proud" on his Instagram account the day after Henry's comments were made public.
The post was liked by current West Ham players Adrian, Manuel Lanzini, Pedro Obiang and Arthur Masuaku, and Ayew insists his former teammates will continue to give their all for the club despite Henry's comments.
"I haven't spoken to anyone at West Ham, but it's our job as footballers to play," Ayew said. "West Ham have taken a decision and I know that the African players are going to fight for their club. I know them really well. I know they are going to stick to their team and help them."
Ayew could make his second Swansea debut at home against Burnley on Saturday after recovering from a hamstring injury.
The 28-year-old rejoined Swansea for £18 million just 18 months after leaving for West Ham in a £20.5m deal.
"I looked at other options, but I felt like my job here wasn't yet done," said Ayew, who has been reunited with his brother Jordan. "It wasn't a really difficult decision. When the club came up and said they were interested in me coming back, I took time, I looked at different options and I had a few in England or outside.
"I left Swansea with a great feeling and the relationship I had with the fans was unbelievable. I felt that the club has what it takes to stay up and I can add something to that."