Ayoze Perez has been talking to the media back home in Tenerife after Newcastle’s successful season.

The striker says that he is ‘very happy at Newcastle’ and has no plans of moving on, whether back to Spain, or elsewhere.

Ayoze Perez turns 24 in July and this has to be a season where he really cracks if he wants to prove he is a better player than we have seen so far.

This past season has been much like his previous two: signs of promise, the odd moment of magic, but not really enough of either.

This has been his league record at Newcastle United so far:

2014/15: 25 starts (11 off bench) 7 goals + 0 assists

2015/16: 22 starts (12 off bench) 6 goals + 2 assists

2016/17: 25 starts (11 off bench) 9  goals + 6 assists

Very similar statistics actually.

Perez getting 25 starts which is very similar to the 25 and 22 in his first two seasons, whilst 11 appearances off the bench matching up with 11 and 12 previously.

In terms of goals, once again very similar, 9 this time and 7 and 6 previously.

Only in terms of assists has there been a significant progression: zero then two then six this past season.

At that lower level you would have expected him to dominate the division, much as he did on that final day against Barnsley.

However, that has never really happened, with many more anonymous performances than dominant ones.

The very fact that Ayoze Perez has had a lower proportion of starts (25 of 46, compared to 47 of 76 in the Premier League), tells you that Rafa Benitez wasn’t totally convinced either.

For Perez to be a sure thing for next season, he had to be an automatic starter just like players such as Jonjo Shelvey and Matt Ritchie.

In this latest interview he says there was interest from La Liga side Las Palmas.

However, these Spanish minnows (currently 14th in La Liga with average crowds of 20,328) are a world away from the daft previous media claims of interest from Barcelona, Spurs and Manchester United.

Whether that turned his head a bit is hard to say but I don’t think he has really kicked on from that first encouraging season in the Premier League at Newcastle.

If Rafa Benitez decides to stick with him, then Ayoze Perez must lift his game come August, here’s hoping.

Ayoze Perez speaking to Radio MARCA Tenerife:

“I am very happy at Newcastle and I still have (four) years left on my latest contract that I signed.

“At the moment I don’t think about returning to Spain.

“Being honest, there was a little bit of interest from Las Palmas last summer but it did not get very far.

“Las Palmas are doing things very well and they are growing a lot – but I’m happy at Newcastle.

“I feel privileged to be a professional footballer and I’m still at the start (of my career), I have many dreams still left to fulfil – I hope one day to play for Spain.

(Asked which other English club would suit his style of play)

“Outside of Newcastle, the team that would strike me the most would be Arsenal.”

(All contributions from Newcastle fans welcome, send articles (as well as ideas/suggestions) to [email protected])

  • Keeganontherebound

    To be honest if Las Palmas or anyone else offer decent money and he fancies it, I would’t be too bothered to see him go and the money reinvested in a decent alternative. One promising season and two of flattering to deceive including one in the championship is just not good enough. People have a go at Mitro who is younger and yet has for me shown a lot more promise. I think Perez has gone under the radar in terms of criticism because his transfer fee was low. He still takes up a squad position and draws a salary though. Does anyone even know what his best position is?

  • Wor Lass

    I have been a big fan of this lad – as a player and as a person – ever since he arrived but I have to say this season has been quite disappointing, in the main. He did come good at the end but that begs the question as to why he was so poor in the middle of the season when he seemed to lose a lot of determination/bottle. Was he carrying a niggle? Did he just lose some confidence? Is he not physically equipped for a more physical league like the Championship? All three? I think, first and foremost, he has to find his true position. To me that`s playing off a striker – being inside and involved in the action – rather than out wide where he has ended up a lot in the past. jane`s right, though, he has to “crack on” quickly next season or move on.

  • Peter Robson

    To be fair to the lad, he arrived here from the Spanish 3rd division or equivalent, as a back up/one for the future, with no (on our part) expectations of instant, or if we´re honest, moderate success.
    He was thrust into first team action by 3 incompetent managers in a row, and despite that has still given a good enough account of himself to keep the fans split on him !!
    At least under Rafa´s tutelage he has put in some good performances, and like all players, even world class players, he has his stinkers but he certainly seems to enjoy playing for us, and I personally think this coming season will be the one where we see what he´s capable of on a more regular basis !!!
    If I´m wrong then feel free to beat me about the head (metaphorically) with my opinion !!!

    In Rafa we trust !!!

  • Cuh736

    I maintain that stats from the past cannot always assess a players potential. This is because of factors like change in style of play, Quality of the teammates, position played, and manager, or club. Just check Jamie Vardy’s career stats before Leiciester’s winning season. He actually underperformed in lower leagues.

    My point, please stop complaining about Mitro and Ayoze at every opportunity. And if Gayle underperforms next season, please do not crucify him.

    Just trust the process. Support the lads. Back the team.

  • Wor Monga

    There’s no 2 ways about it the lad is a really good player…he’s a skillful young footballer who has showed us at the higher level that he has better than average control skills and vision who can also score goals… then place him into the Championship mix where players of his size and weight are quickly marked down, and stopped bodily without any proper protection from the officials…he was knocked over easily, and then just appealed in vain…

    … that side of the game doesn’t exist in the European game or even in the PL now, but the old bodily contact that we knew and loved years ago (I can still see the scars) is still alive and kicking… in the Championship…

    …I Remember how we hoped that the reported interest from Spurs, and other clubs didn’t come to anything last year…and personally I think we’ll see young Ayoze come good again… in the PL next season!!!

  • Albert Stubbins

    was absolutely awesome last game of the season- strong, sublime touches, energetic, strength the lot. Unfortunately we have seen FAR to little of this kind of performance this season or anything like it to be honest. So frustrating as a player but too many times this season he has been on the fringes of the game and hasnt had anywhere near the impact a player of his ability should have had. The fear is that although he won’t be on the receiving end of so many “agricultural” tackles next season he still won’t be able to influence the game through lack of strength and pace. Can be a passenger for too long in the game for my liking and we won’t have this luxury next season. A good offer and I would let him go- shame as he has great ability. If Rafa keeps him its because he feels he can improve him a lot as a player- time will tell.

  • He has to stay, has been playing all season in a role he never played before.
    Mostly used as n.10, when he was used as a striker he delivered(Brighton goal).
    We must definitely keep Ayoze, as he’s now tougher and up to speed with English football.