Rafa Benitez has confirmed that THREE La Liga clubs made attempts to sign Ayoze Perez over the summer, however he had no intention to sell the man he describes as an ‘important player’ for Newcastle United.
The gaffer also admits that Perez was ‘close’ to being called up to the Spanish national squad at one stage, but suggests that he must work on his consistency – despite having the ‘potential’ to be a ‘very good player’.
Here’s what Rafa’s had to say about Perez following the arrival of Miguel Almiron – a player who’ll be competing with him as a fellow ‘no.10’:
“He has the potential to be a very good player but he has to be more consistent. To be fair he is working on that,” he said.
“For a while he was close to being in the Spain squad and in the summer, I had three Spanish clubs asking for him but we didn’t want to sell because he’s an important player for us.”
Perez is never far from criticism when it comes to home games from St James’ Park, with some often frustrated by his fragility and final ball, however he is someone who has shown commitment to the club.
He stayed when we went down, played a big part in helping us gain promotion and was our top scorer last season as we went from relegation candidates to 10th thanks to a late surge over the second half of the campaign.
The likes of Real Betis and Real Sociedad were linked with moves for Perez last summer and I wouldn’t be surprised to see that remerge in a few months time, however it’s good to see we’ve finally brought in a player to compete with him in Almiron.
Do you feel Perez is a vital player in this Newcastle side, or would you be more than happy to cash in on him if a big offer arrived in the summer?