Ayoze Perez says no Mike Ashley ambition and Rafa going, made it easy decision to leave Newcastle
Ayoze Perez ended last season with nine goals in his final 12 Premier League games with Newcastle United.
Miguel Almiron arrived on 31 January 2019, the first player Rafa Benitez had been allowed to sign for over £10m in the four transfer windows after getting promotion as champions back to the Premier League.
The Paraguayan’s signing helped connect a lot of dots and Newcastle were suddenly transformed into a far more effective attacking unit.
The final 13 PL games saw Newcastle score 21 goals, the same number they had scored in the opening 25 matches.
Along with Almiron and Rondon, Ayoze Perez completed an attacking trio full of potential and left Newcastle fans wondering just what would be possible in the following season.
Newcastle fans will never know.
Instead of paying the £16.5m release clause for Salomon Rondon, backing Rafa and convincing him to stay and assuring Ayoze Perez that the club has ambition and rewarding the Spaniard with a new enhanced contract of his own….
Mike Ashley chose to force Rafa Benitez out, not make any attempt to sign Rondon, whilst no effort was made either to keep Ayoze Perez.
Ashley returning to his preferred option of a Head Coach who has no say on transfers and making signings where future potential resale value is the first thought, a reported £56m spent on 22 year olds Allan Saint-Maximin and Joelinton instead.
Ayoze Perez points to a total absence of ambition with Mike Ashley owning NUFC and states: ‘There is big motivation here to keep growing and to get better here at Leicester. I didn’t feel they had it at Newcastle.’
As for Mike Ashley forcing the top class manager out of St James Park: ‘As soon as Rafa left the decision was easier.’
It is seven matches into the new season when Ayoze Perez will face his old club, the last two seasons he has scored the winner at the King Power Stadium and that venue will host a Sly Sports live match between the two clubs on 28 September.
Newcastle fans will now an awful lot more by then as to what they can expect from this season, as well as how Ayoze Perez is getting on with life after NUFC.
Ayoze Perez speaking to The Athletic (read the full interview here – they are offering first month free to read article before having to pay):
“Honestly, it is a great crowd (at Newcastle United). They were very passionate. It was very enjoyable.
“If I am honest, there was an opportunity to leave after we were relegated to the Championship, but it didn’t happen. I had the chance when Spurs were interested. We were talking a little bit if they were going to sign me, but in the end it didn’t happen and I started the season with Newcastle.
“I felt I had to take Newcastle back to where they belong, so I stayed. It was a tough year in the Championship, to be honest, but we made it straight away back to the Premier League, where they belong.
“Rafa was key. He was a big factor when he stayed at the club. I knew we were going to be great playing under Rafa, and we were. We made it back as champions. The next two seasons after that were great as well.
“The ambition of the club (Leicester) and the way they are doing the right things was very important in my decision. Also, as soon as Rafa left the decision was easier.
“Things could be done better over there at Newcastle, but Leicester have given me the opportunity to do great things hopefully. There is big ambition. I think how football works, the way you have to look at football, that is the difference between Leicester and Newcastle. There is big motivation here to keep growing and to get better here at Leicester. I didn’t feel they had it at Newcastle.”
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