Perez quite rightly has his detractors in the Toon Army faithful; he often appears weak and gives the ball away far too often. He does though have a great attitude, something other players and Rafa of course, seem to appreciate.
Here’s what Ritchie’s had to say about the often criticised Spaniard, praising Perez for the work he put in to protect him in what was an unfamiliar role at left-wing back on the night:
“I thought Ayoze was unbelievable defensively.
“As for me, in that position, I am comfortable going forward but defensively, not really used to that position.
“But Ayoze was fantastic, his work rate just sitting inside me was unbelievable.
“When I was one versus one, he was there but we all helped each other both on our side and the other.
“It’s a tough tough league and we hard to work hard.”
I thought Perez actually played ok against Burnley, putting in a shift and having some nice touches in attack – including setting up Joselu to smash against the post.
He needs to improve his ball retention and end product and at 24, I am not sure how much time he has left to dramatically improve. He is a useful squad member though and is the best we have until we have more reinforcements; he may raise his game if he sign a good number 10.
Perez does have a good knack of scoring key goals for us though, which we can’t understate, just like the winner against Watford to start this winning run off. We always stated we demand players who try and despite his faults, Perez certainly is one of those who wants to be here and tries his best – despite his flaws.