As revealed by The Times, no Premier League forward has completed more interceptions and ball recoveries than Ayoze Perez over the 2018/19 season.
Not only that, their piece reveals that the only FIVE fellow Premier League attackers have created more chances than him this season (Hazard, Willian, Salah, Sterling and Zaha).
This comes following his electric second half display in the 3-2 win over Everton, with several fans believing he’s now done more than enough to keep any of his doubters quiet at St James’ Park.
Starting with his ‘recoveries’ and ‘interceptions’, the numbers below may silence anyone believing he is ineffective and lazy in his work off the ball:
The following numbers also show just how much of a creative force he’s been on the ball – with him ranked the 6th most creative attacker this season and the 13th last season:
Don’t get me wrong, a string of good performances does not change the fact Ayoze’s form was incredibly frustrating earlier on in the season, but the numbers don’t lie – both from an attacking and defensive perspective.
His work rate and defensive intelligence shouldn’t be in question – even if he sometimes does go down a little easily or seem too weak at times – and the fact he’s managed 17 goals and 8 assists as number 10 in a low scoring Premier League side over the last two seasons shouldn’t be sniffed at either.
Is he suddenly a world beater? No. But he’s come up trumps at the business of the last THREE seasons.
He must be much more consistent, and the challenge now will be for him to produce over an entire season, but it’s perhaps time a few of his haters got off his back and accepted that he actually does a very decent job in Rafa’s side.