Leicester City manager Brendan Rodgers has told the press that he has ‘no doubt’ that Ayoze Perez will prove to be an excellent buy.
However, the Northern Irishman did admit that Perez’s adaptation to the new style of football could take up to six months before he is fully firing.
The Spaniard was dropped on Saturday for Leicester’s 3-1 win over Bournemouth, with Rodgers preferring Marc Albrighton.
Speaking to Leicester Mercury, Rodgers said: “With Ayo it is just going to be a period of adaption.
“That might be six months to a season really.
“He has come from playing in a team which played 5-4-1, very deep and very defensive and not having the ball so much.
“Now he is in a team which is really aggressive and is pressing higher up the field. And then having to do all that side plus then the football side.
“Watching him since pre-season and closely in training, he will continue to find good positions.
“Over his time, he is going to be able to get the goals that he wants. But he is a bright player and really clever. He is also very modest and humble.”
With Ayoze Perez joining the club for a fee of £30m, it seems as if Rodgers is just trying to take a bit of pressure off the forward by giving reason for his subpar performances.
With Perez now having to adjust to a new formation, then it is not surprising that it may take a bit of time. Last season, with Newcastle preferring to opt with a 5-4-1, averaging just 42.9 per cent possession (19th in the league, per WhoScored) it was a very different style to what you see with Leicester this season, who prefer a 4-1-4-1, and average 54.7 per cent possession (third highest in the league). Naturally, adapting to these formations and style of play will take time for Perez.
So far this season, Perez is yet to register a goal or assist, and his stats haven’t really been fantastic. According to WhoScored, he has the 10th highest average rating (6.64) in the squad at the moment, which isn’t terrible but it’s hardly an instant impact.
The Spaniard averages one shot per match, which is as good or better than anyone else playing in his position for Leicester, with the majority of shots coming from the two central midfielders in James Maddison and Youri Tielemans, as well as Jamie Vardy. He averages 0.7 key passes per game, averages two dribbles per match which again is okay but not particularly great. More negatively, he averages 3.3 unsuccessful touches per match, which is by far the worst in the squad (all per WhoScored).
Leicester fans haven’t really seen much from Ayoze Perez so far, but as Rodgers has said, it is extremely early in his Leicester career.
Considering that he has only come from Newcastle, it would be silly to expect huge amounts from him straight away and even to assume that he instantly gets into the best 11. Leicester have a very good squad at their disposal with plenty of wide options such as Marc Albrighton, Harvey Barnes and Demarai Gray. Additionally, his goal return was never electric, scoring 33 goals in 143 Premier League games for the Toon – so there shouldn’t be too many expectations for goals straight away.
Leicester fans, will Perez deliver the goods in the end? Join the discussion by commenting below!