lucas perez

Lucas Perez’s Bitter Experience At Arsenal

When Lucas Perez left Deportivo La Coruña for Arsenal last year, he must have thought the heavens of his career. Eleven months later, Perez would come to the stark realization that he had joined a team that held nothing but ill luck for him. The striker’s stock has nosedived and it’s no thanks to Arsenal’s poor treatment of the Spaniard.

Lucas Perez is one striker who can be comfortably categorized as fairly above average. Nearly 6 feet tall, pacey, sharp, can shoot with both feet and still in his twenties; Pérez is one of those strikers who you wouldn’t fault for not taking his chances.

Born in the small Spanish city of La Coruña, Perez wouldn’t play for his hometown club until he turned twenty-six; at which point he had already featured for teams such as Rayo Vallecano, Dynamo Kyiv and PAOK. Nevertheless, it was for his home club, Deportivo La Coruña, that he amassed his most superlative goal return in a single season – he scored 17 times to help Deportivi to avoid relegation.

Following Lucas Pérez’s stellar season with struggling Deportivo, Premier League clubs started circling, with Everton indicating the most interest. However, it was Arsene Wenger and Arsenal that would sweet-talk the striker into putting pen to paper. All smiles during his unveiling, what the 28-year-old didn’t know at the time was that Wenger had no future plans for him in his team.

Arsenal had been facing a striker conundrum, the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud were set to miss the beginning of the season and Danny Welbeck had been ruled out indefinitely; Lucas provided a readily available alternative. However, with these players back to full fitness, the Spanish international was shoved down the pecking order, almost naturally.

One season into his spell in England and Perez would only manage two Premier League starts, eleven in all, with just one league goal to show. The Spaniard could glean nothing but pity from his manager. Wenger was quoted by Skysports as saying:

"I feel sorry for him on that front, but we have more strikers available now because we had the situation where Olivier Giroud was not clear at the start of the season.

"We didn't know when Danny Welbeck would come back and in the end there was a congestion there but that doesn't take anything away from his quality.”

The sucker punch for Pérez came after Arsenal completed the record signing of Alexandre Lacazette from Lyon. Not only did the Frenchman signing nudge Lucas Pérez deeper down the striker's hierarchy, it meant that Pérez would surrender his jersey number – Lacazette would get the number 9, and Pérez could wear anything else.

For a man who less than a year ago was the toast of his hometown club, Perez could feel nothing but sheer irritation by such ill-treatment. The Spaniard told reporters, per Telegraph, how cheated he felt:

“I cannot continue this way. I have given everything, but that has not been reciprocated, so I can’t stand it any longer. I feel cheated. In February I was not allowed to leave for China with the promise that I would play more and after that I had even fewer opportunities.”

With a world cup year already by the corner, Pérez knows his time at Arsenal has been an absolute waste of time and he needs to leave if he must stand any chance of donning the Spanish jersey in Russia. The striker is now actively pushing for a move back to Deportivo, tail between legs.

Albeit, Arsenal could’ve done better with this young man - they treated him really badly. The likes of Andrey Arshavin and Marouane Chamakh are a couple of strikers who can relate to Perez’s ordeal.

About the Author Kingsley

I am a football/soccer connoisseur who enjoys crafting interesting articles like the one you just read.

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