Where many feared the worst for Newcastle this season, manager Rafael Benitez has steered them to safety after two successive wins. Indeed, Premier League football will once again light up St. James’ Park next season, but they need to make changes to their squad to bring about success.
However, it’s also of fundamental importance that they hold on to their better players. To that end, Ayoze Perez showed against Southampton the quality that he possesses.
In a team largely centred around defence, Perez has 10 league goals to his name. In reality, this is a pretty impressive return for a striker in a team struggling for goals. Newcastle have scored 35 goals this season, the 5th worst in the league. They aren’t known for creating an abundance of chances either. Perez has scored his 10 goals in only 41 shots – less than half the number Salah has produced. Place some better players around the forward, he will continue to shine.
“That means I have done something well. I’ll be up for hearing what is coming, but it doesn’t mean I am going to leave 100 per cent at the end of the season,” he added.
The attacking trio of Perez, Solomon Rondon and Miguel Almiron has proved highly successful for Newcastle this season and as stated, they must hold on to players of this calibre if they are to progress.
But Perez is perhaps the player they will find the most challenging to keep hold of. The talented Spaniard, who now sits in Newcastle’s top ten all-time Premier League goalscorers, arrived at the club in 2014, aged just 20-years-old. He cost Newcastle just £1.5m and represents one of the biggest bargains in their recent history.
Perhaps his late spell of form will be a reminder of his quality to Newcastle fans – who earlier in the season booed him minutes before netting the winner against Watford
Should Perez opt to leave the club it will certainly be for a fee much larger than they initially paid. For the fans, however, they will hope that it won’t come to that.
Newcastle fans – is it critical that Perez stays? Is he one of your biggest bargains in recent history?
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