Why selling Lucas Perez was the right call by West Ham United
West Ham United manager Manuel Pellegrini offloaded Spanish striker Lucas Perez just one year after the Hammers bought him from London rivals Arsenal. Perez joined La Liga club Deportivo Alaves at the beginning of the season, with West Ham settling for a £4million deal.
Even though the Hammers struggled to extract the best out of the 31-year-old, Perez has been in impressive form for the Spanish club. He has found the back of the net six times and has also provided one assist in seven La Liga appearances this season.
Perez did show his potential by scoring against Cardiff City and Leicester City but it wasn’t enough for Pellegrini to keep him at the London Stadium. During his ill-fated spell, his numbers were simply not good enough to continue.
Perez has recorded an average of 0.45 goals per game in club competitions this season. During the 2018/19 season, his average was 0.21 goals per game. In the current season, Perez has registered a total of 12 shots for Alaves, out of which six have been on goal. He has also completed 72% of his passes.
Pellegrini brought in striker Sebastien Haller before the season began. Haller has proven his worth so far, scoring four goals this season. Even though the numbers look short when compared to his last season’s tally of 15 goals and 9 assists in 29 Bundesliga appearances, the difference in the league standards plays a key role.
The 25-year-old is playing his first season in the English top-flight and is taking time to adapt to the new environment while Perez is currently playing in his national league, thus providing a huge advantage.
In fact, Perez even failed to break into the Gunners’ first-team squad as he struggled to score, netting just once in his 11 Premier League appearances during the 2016-17 season.
Perez is already 31 and has only a few years of football left in him while Haller is just 25 and has his whole career ahead. Even though the Hammers have struggled to get goals from outside the box, it must be noted that the Londoners are still getting the goals.
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Thus, Pellegrini has taken the right step to usher in the future by getting rid of the struggling past.