Ayoze Perez’s decision to leave Newcastle United has been justified given he’s now at a club who’ve broken into the top 4, but his latest comments may not go down too well on Tyneside.
In his latest interview about life at Leicester, the forward has issued an inadvertent dig at his former Newcastle teammates, stating the Foxes squad are all ‘friends’ – something he claims to have never had at St James’ Park.
Here’s what Ayoze had to say when asked about the difference between the atmosphere at Leicester and Newcastle during his chat with talkSPORT this week:
“It is a very familiar group (at Leicester City), everybody is very close to each other.
“You can call each other friends.
“It is something I haven’t had before (at Newcastle) and it is great to have that feeling.
“As soon as I walked in I had that feeling, it is important in a football club.
“Ben (Chilwell), Madders (James Maddison), Hamza (Choudhury), a lot of them, you feel you are very close to them.
“I felt it was a very warm welcome when I signed.”
Perez seemed to have good friends in Rondon, Almirom, Fernandez and Manquillo during his time on Tyneside – all of which were Spanish speakers – but his comments suggest the rest of the squad weren’t particularly close.
The Spaniard then admitted the city of Newcastle is better than Leicester, but insists he “made the right decision” to leave after praising new boss Brendan Rodgers.
Perez on living in Leicester:
“I’m not going to lie.
“The city of Newcastle is a bit better and I enjoyed it a lot over there.
“But I will find something to do here.”
Perez on Rodgers:
I had the meeting with him before signing and in that moment, I realised not only how good a manager he is, but also how close he is to the players he is.
“He’s always trying to make sure the players are comfortable, to know what the players are feeling.
“For the players, it’s important for the confidence, to know your boss cares about what you think and how your life is going outside of football. In terms of that, he is top class.
“I made the right decision.”
Perez was a good servant at Newcastle United and our top scorer over the past few seasons, so I don’t actually blame him for putting his fingers in his ears when fans booed him on his return to the club earlier this year.
Sadly, his decision to join Leicester has been justified, but he did a brilliant job in black and white in the end, proving to be one of our best bits of business over the past 10 years at just £1.5m.