I don’t often go with the ‘no smoke without fire’ arguments but with these persistent Ayoze Perez rumours, I am most definitely beginning to feel the heat.
The international breaks are a breeding ground for transfer stories and the recycled Andy Carroll ones are a case in point.
However, with Ayoze Perez I can see a bit more substance.
It’s not that I think he is itching for a move but once a club actually makes a move, we all know that it can be a very different story.
Recent days have seen both Manchester United and Tottenham credited with interest in the Spanish striker and this is just the latest in a pattern of links with the player.
Only last month, Ayoze Perez told the Spanish press that he was flattered by comments from Sir Alex Ferguson, which surfaced at the same time as it was reported that Louis van Gaal had had the Newcastle striker/attacking midfielder watched by scouts and been impressed by the feedback.
Perez talking to Marca:
“We all know Sir Alex Ferguson and how big he was for football
“They are big words that I have to prove so much but I am young and have a long journey.
“I work so that everything gets better.”
This followed a previous Spanish interview where Ayoze Perez confirmed that the claims in the summer had been correct, that Tottenham had made a bid for him and which was turned down.
Perez saying that he was flattered by Tottenham’s interest but that Newcastle had refused to consider letting him go.
The local press have already said that club sources have told them that Steve McClaren wants to bring in extra players in January but that any spendig would have to come in the main from money generated through sales.
I just get the feeling that the club would sadly see somebody like Ayoze Perez as dispensable, rather than say Moussa Sissoko who has a larger profile but is arguably far less effective than the Spaniard.
When you have somebody like Perez who is neither really a striker or a midfielder, it can help to make a decision that he can go because he doesn’t have a natural place in the team.
Gini Wijnaldum is obviously seen as the main midfielder who can get in the box and score goals and McClaren doesn’t look comfortable playing with any kind of system that accommodates a second striker like Perez. Plus of course the Head Coach didn’t see him as first choice early in the season and only through injuries/suspension and pressure of results did the Spaniard get his run in the team.
I don’t think Ayoze Perez is ever going to score loads and loads of goals and is maybe the type of player that Newcastle will think can be sacrificed.
However, he is a clever player who links play up, keeps the ball well and scores goals, ticking a lot of boxes but not in a stand-out way.
In a way his low fee probably makes him more likely to be sold because of the profit margin and the way that affects the accounts at the end of the season, via amortisation.
With the team desperate for better players in centre midfield, defence and ironically, another goalscoring striker, if the right (high enough) offer comes in, then I can see the promising player moving on to another club prepared to ‘gamble’ that his meteoric progress of the last 16 months will continue.
Whether Steve McClaren is then allowed to bring in more experienced player(s), which it is claimed that he wants, with any cash raised remains to be seen.
If money needs to be raised then sadly it is hard to see anything substantial coming in even if they find a buyer for the likes of Cisse and Tiote, whilst Gouffran, Marveaux, Obertan and others look certain to be here until their inflated contracts run to a close.
Maybe January will see Ayoze Perez become the big test as to whether there is any real substance in Mike Ashley’s claims that things have really changed.
Keeping such a talented young player as Ayoze Perez if there is a significant bid AND investing elsewhere in the team, would certainly be a massive step in the right direction.
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