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Opinion

Ayoze Perez says it was all about ambition (and lack of it at Newcastle) – Impossible to argue now

8 months ago
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Ayoze Perez joined Leicester City this summer.

The striker saying that he was joining the Foxes because of their ambition and leaving Newcastle because none existed.

The former Tenerife player saying that when Mike Ashley forced Rafa Benitez out of St James Park, that made the decision even easier, as it proved that lack of ambition.

Spending five years at a club that had a policy of not trying in the cup competitions, now after only five months at the King Power, Ayoze Perez finds himself in a semi-final already.

He must be really kicking himself now about leaving Mike Ashley and NUFC behind…

Clear in second place in the Premier League and looking arguably the biggest/only threat to Liverpool, the difference to what he left behind at St James Park become ever more glaring.

Last night Ayoze Perez helped Leicester to a win at Everton, the Foxes beating the scousers on penalties after a 2-2 draw.

The semi-final draw has produced a Manchester derby and made Leicester hot favourites to reach the final. They have got a Villa sisde battling relegation, who Leicester beat 4-1 at Villa Park only 11 days ago.

Mike Ashley was happy to let both Perez and Rondon leave in the summer after they scored 23 goals between them in the Premier League last season, the owner, for reasons only known to himself, insisting that Newcastle had to buy Joelinton for £40m, who so far has managed one goal in his first four and a half months and doesn’t even look like a goalscorer/centre-forward.

Ayoze Perez speaking on 5 August 2019 to The Athletic (read the full interview here):

“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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