It seems a long time since we’ve seen Ayoze Perez at his best. However, at one point in time Perez was one of the most exciting prospects in the Premier League.
In his first season at United in 2014/15. The Spaniard struck seven goals in 25 games. An impressive return for a man playing for Second Division Spanish side the year before.
However, since dropping to the Championship last season Perez has looked off colour, despite nine goals last term being his best in a United shirt.
Many expected the former Tenerife star to push on in a lower division. However, Perez was ultimately disappointing in a league which didn’t seem to suit his style of play, despite this particular highlight:
Taking this in to consideration promotion should have seen a fresh slate for Perez. He had in two Premier League season scored 13 impressive for a youngster in a team battling relegation.
However, since his return to the top flight Perez has failed to impress. Against Liverpool in particularly Perez was incredibly poor. So how much time should we give the youngster and is it time for him to be dropped?
Rafa Benitez has claimed just this week that Perez is important to the team. Stating in the Chronicle this week that his football knowledge and intelligence keeps in the side.
However, despite this and his decent work off the ball, what does Ayoze bring to the team? Whenever there is an attacking move the Spaniard slows the move down.
By that point, any advantage gained by United has been lost. However, whilst Perez has been poor, who would replace him? Only Mo Diame appears able to play that position naturally.
That would suggest that Ayoze would have to remain in the team until a replacement is found. Possibly Gayle or Mitrovic could play in that position.
However, that would be a risk in a season where Newcastle need points. So for now Benitez’s reasoning seems to be correct.
Featured image Credit: Steenburg