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Rafa Benitez has a decision to make on Ayoze Perez

3 months ago
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Ayoze Perez has a remarkable record.

Since arriving at Newcastle United in summer 2014, the now 25 year old has appeared in all but three NUFC matchday squads for league games.

The striker having been selected 132 times to start league games and 61 matches named on the bench.

Ayoze Perez missing two matchday squads in the Championship season and once in his very first (Premier League) season when arriving.

However, Rafa Benitez could have a decision to make on Saturday.

A hip problem forced Perez off at Brighton and whilst the player himself says ‘It is sore but I will make sure I am fit for the next one’, it will be down to the manager to decide.

No doubt much will depend on the striker’s training stats this week, with so much of Perez’ contribution depending on workrate tracking back.

If he isn’t 100%, I wouldn’t be surprised if Rafa uses Ayoze Perez as an impact sub, Newcastle hopefully still in the game after an hour or so and the former Tenerife player brought on to make a difference.

Not surprisingly he is desperate to play, with seven goals in the last seven home games and five in the last three games home and away, he has never been in better form.

Those five goals against Leicester, Southampton and Brighton have seen Perez nominated for Premier League player of the month (details on how to vote are below) and having got into double figures in a league season for the very first time, a goal and positive result against Liverpool would top things off nicely.

Ayoze Perez talking to the Chronicle:

“It is a massive test because they are a top side who are doing really well but they are coming to our home.

“We have done well at our stadium and we have to take advantage.

“Hopefully we can do something good for ourselves and our fans and finish on a high.

“I tried to carry on as long as possible (at Brighton) but I realised I had to go off because I could not sprint any more.

“It is sore but I will make sure I am fit for the next one.”

Newcastle United announcement:

‘After scoring five goals in April, Newcastle United’s Ayoze Pérez has been shortlisted for the Premier League player of the month award.

The Spaniard hit a hat-trick against Southampton, sandwiched between the winner against Leicester and the opening goal of last weekend’s draw against Brighton & Hove Albion.

Nobody in the top flight scored more times during the month than Pérez, while April also saw him break into the top ten of Newcastle’s all-time Premier League top goalscorers list.

The 25-year-old is nominated alongside Chelsea’s Eden Hazard, Liverpool’s Jordan Henderson and Mohamed Salah, Manchester City defender Aymeric Laporte, Southampton’s Shane Long, Leicester’s Jamie Vardy and Burnley’s Chris Wood.

Supporters can vote for Pérez to win the EA Sports-sponsored award here. Voting closes at 6pm (BST) on Thursday.’

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