It has been confirmed that West Ham United club record signing, Andre Ayew has been ruled out for four months with injury.
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Optimism was high, as the Hammers broke their club record transfer fee to bring Ayew to the London Stadium, paying Swansea City £20.5million for his services.
He made his debut in the 2-1 defeat to Chelsea, but only lasted 35 minutes before beInG replaced by Gokhan Tore after picking up a thigh injury.
The club's head of medical and sports science, Stijn Vandenbroucke told whufc.com: "My first thought and priority is with the player and his physical and mental wellbeing."
He reiterated that Ayew has "Suffered a significant injury and it is imperative that we don'tt rush to conclusions & we receive the correct diagnosis by consulting top specialists."
The club doctor admitted: “At this time, it is too early to put a timeframe on his potential return date," but firmly believes "Andre is facing a significant rehabilitation period."
Vandenbroucke reassured the fans: “The best thing we can do as a Club is to support Andre through this difficult period."
He concluded, "We will keep you updated throughout this process and I am sure he will be come back stronger than ever.”
Putting out a strong team
This will be a big blow for Slaven Bilic, as he has spent the summer bolstering his attacking options.
The Hammers are currently in Romania, ahead of their Europa League play-off with Astra Giurgiu, and Bilic admitted that he will be fielding a strong team on Thursday night.
Bilic admitted to the press in his pre-match conference: “We will put out a strong team. We want to get to the group stages.”
The boss is adamant that, "It’s a reward for a good season last year and only a few clubs from the Premier League are privileged to play in Europe."
With the club so close to the groups, Bilic concluded: "We are two games from the group stages and we want to participate."
West Ham United will take on Astra Giurgiu in their Europa League play-off at the Stadionul Marin Anastasovici on Thursday, August 18 with kick-off at 7:45pm BST.