By Dominic Toner

West Ham defender Jose Fonte has claimed that Andre Ayew is an important player for the club.

The 27-year-old has endured a frustrating first season for the Hammers following his £20million summer arrival from Swansea.

The versatile attacker has missed large parts of the campaign with a hamstring injury and his participation in the Africa Cup of Nations, but has proved his worth in recent weeks.

Ayew has scored three goals in his last four Premier League matches and is becoming an important player under Slaven Bilic.

Fonte has stressed how important the Ghana international is for the side and hopes he can continue his recent form.

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“He is an important player for us, he’s been showing his qualities and hopefully he can keep scoring goals for us and helping, because we need him,” Fonte said, as quoted by the club’s official website.

Ayew was in great form for Swansea last season as he struck 12 times in 35 appearances.

The attacker moved to the London Stadium to help bolster the frontline and is now beginning to settle into the team.

He was unable to West Ham fall to a 3-2 home defeat against Leicester at the weekend despite his goal, which means they stay 12th in the Premier League table.

The Hammers are currently nine points above the relegation places and will still need a couple more victories to guarantee their top-flight status.

In other West Ham news, Harry redknapp believes this striker was a volatile genius.

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