Why Ayoze Perez Needs To Do More At Newcastle United
After a difficult start to the campaign, Newcastle United have recovered well in the past few weeks and have put on a decent run of results.
This past weekend, the Magpies managed to hold Liverpool to a 1-1 draw at the St. James’ Park, following which they go into the international break, seated 9th in the Premier League table with 10 points from 7 games.
The likes of captain Jamaal Lascelles, star winger Matt Ritchie have stepped up in a big way for the Tynesiders, while new signing Mikel Merino has grown into an integral part of the Newcastle midfield.
However, one player who hasn’t been able to hit the heights that were expected of him is versatile attacker Ayoze Perez. The 24-year old Spanish forward was tipped to be one of Newcastle’s most important players on their return to the Premier League, given his experience at this level and his performances for the club in the past.
Before the ongoing campaign kicked off, Perez had played 70 times in the English top-flight, in which he had scored 13 goals and 2 assists. While those aren’t mind-boggling numbers by any means, they did indicate that Perez has what it takes to be a success at this level. However, things haven’t gone as per plans for the Spaniard. Last season in the Championship, the former Tenerife man netted 9 times and notched up 7 assists in 36 games.
However, in his 7 league games so far in the current term, the 24-year old has failed to find the back of the net even once and has managed to assist just one goal.
Playing behind the main striker, Perez is expected to be the creative hub for the Magpies in the attack, along with providing an added goal threat. But, he has failed to perform effectively in the role. The Spaniard’s shooting has also been a reason of worry for Rafael Benitez’s side – Perez has a shot accuracy of just 22% so far this season (7 shots, 2 on target, 2 blocked), highlighting his profligacy in front of goal.
Perez has created 9 goal-scoring chances for the Magpies – second highest, just behind Matt Ritchie’s tally of 11, but a lack of clinical edge in the attack has meant only one of those has been converted into a goal. Often, the 24-year old has provided glimpses of what he can do when he gets going – the fact that he has completed 8 of his 13 attempted dribbles this campaign shows that there is quality in abundance, but Perez needs to turn it up on a more consistent basis than he has been able to do so far.
Newcastle have shown signs of fight in recent weeks and as things stand now, they look like they will be able to push for a mid-table finish come May next year. However, for that to become a reality, Perez needs to step up on a more regular basis for the Tyneside outfit. There is definitely much more to come from him and Benitez will be hoping that the 24-year old gets back to his best at the very earliest.
Stats Courtesy: Squawka.com