Andre Ayew has been backed to become Swansea City’s reconditioned engine this season.
The Ghanain star was considered a luxury model the club could no longer afford as they tried to move him on this summer.
But with no takers, Ayew has been taken off the forecourt and put back into manager Steve Cooper’s side and may even start against Preston today after his goal-scoring comeback in midweek.
Ayew – who has played at two World Cups – spent last season on loan at Fenerbahçe.
He hadn’t played for Swansea for 15 months or scored for them since May 2016, but notched a second-half brace in a 3-1 win over Northampton in the EFL Cup on Tuesday.
“It’s handy having someone of that calibre to just come on and win you a game like that. It was a big boost for everyone,” said Swansea defender Ben Wilmot.
“I think the fans were buzzing to see him and as players we were happy to have him back.
“No one was too sure what was going to happen with him, but it’s a bonus for us and everyone involved here that he’s staying.
“Hopefully we can see more from him throughout the season.”
Swansea are still keen to get the big earning Ayew off their wage bill, but with no offers on the table this summer he has returned to south Wales.
He rose from the bench to help Swansea come from 1-0 down against Northampton and is poised for his second appearance of the season at home to Preston.
Wilmot made his Swansea bow against the Cobblers after joining on loan from Watford.
He hopes to keep his place today (SAT) after impressing head coach Steve Cooper.
“It was important for me to let the manager and the rest of the staff see what I can do,” Wilmot said.
“When I get my chance in the league I have to make sure it’s another good performance, keep my place, and do the best I can to help the team out this season.”
Cooper has given his squad a clean bill of health for the visit of Preston.
Aldo Kalulu was substituted in the game against Derby after suffering a kick and was not risked for the midweek Carabao Cup win over Northampton, but has been passed fit.
Midfielder Tom Carroll has not featured yet this season but is scheduled to play for the under-23 side as he continues his recovery following hip surgery.
Winger Joel Asoro has joined Eredivisie club Groningen on a season-long loan after struggling to make an impact since joining from Sunderland in 2018.
Preston manager Alex Neil has plenty of options available for the trip to the Liberty Stadium.
Neil made 11 changes for Tuesday night’s Carabao Cup win at Bradford and will have been impressed with what he saw in the 4-0 win.
Veteran striker David Nugent is the only player still unavailable, a calf injury meaning he must wait to make his second debut for the club.
Midfielder Ryan Ledson returned from serving a four-match ban to play the full 90 minutes against Bradford.