Not many players at Newcastle this season have covered themselves in glory this season, but there’s no denying the quality within the squad at St James’ Park.
One man that’s had a particularly tough season is Ayoze Perez. His £1.8m (via Transfer Markt) transfer fee back in 2014 seemed like a steal at the time, as under Alan Pardew, he emerged as one of the best attacking midfielders in the Premier League. Offering bags of quality and creativity, he proceeded to bag 7 goals during his debut season in England, and he went on to improve year after year thereafter.
He has been a regular in the Newcastle first team throughout his tenure, and with good reason. But he’s had a tough campaign this time out.
With just 3 goals and 1 league assist in over 20 appearances, Perez’s influence going forward is waning. Now, of course, Newcastle have more broadly struggled for goals this season, but it’s his job to create them; and so the buck must stop with the 25-year-old. It’s not fair to blame Newcastle’s poor form on him solely, but it’s no surprise that Newcastle have gone to another level when he’s performing well.
Unsurprisingly, then, Newcastle have moved to improve their attacking options, and they’ve now brought in Miguel Almiron. The attacking midfielder has been incredible over in the MLS as of late, and it’s no surprise that he’s earnt a move to the Premier League. With 13 goals and 11 assists in 2018, he’s been brilliant.
So, that should leave Aayoze Perez fretting for his place in this team. Both play a very similar role in the attacking midfield area, and over the last 12 months, Almiron has outclassed the Newcastle man.
He hasn’t been brought in to warm the bench. He’s been brought in to help transform the midfield, and Perez is an obvious casualty under Rafael Benitez.
Perez is a shadow of the man that was so good under Alan Pardew previously, and though he’s still got a future at Newcastle United, the presence of Almiron certainly throws a wrench into his long-term prospects.
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