Lucas Perez: 3 Things You Need To Know About Arsenal’s £17m Signing Lucas Perez:

Whilst Arsenal’s new boy might not be a household name or come with an annual wage bill of £15million, he could be exactly what this squad have been crying out for.

The 27-year-old has been a fantastic asset for Deportivo, but after putting up with an average supporting cast one phone call from Wenger seemed to be all he needed.

With a respectful price tag of £17million Perez joins the Gunners with very little expectation on his shoulders, and that could well be the best thing for him in front of some of the most demanding supporters the Premier League has to offer.

So who is this Perez fella? Well, if you’re a part of the 95% of people that had never heard his name before Thursday, check out our handy guide to Arsenal’s new leading forward.

1 – He Was A Wanted Man

If we’re going to understand how the signing of Perez came around, then it’s a pretty good idea to step back to the start.

Leicester City were originally tracking the striker, who remained understated in a league that only ever concentrated on the big boys like Barcelona and Real Madrid.

The man responsible for discovering Riyad Mahrez and N’golo Kante? Steve Walsh. Leicester’s Head of Recruitment wanted a signing to partner and relieve some of the pressure from Jamie Vardy.

His intentions were there, and after scouting the player for the majority of the 2015/16 campaign Walsh began to open negotiations and establish a deeper knowledge of what he hoped to sign.

Later on in the summer, Walsh joined Everton under Ronald Koeman and all of a sudden Perez’s destination swung to The Toffees, with Walsh head and shoulders above rival clubs.

Talks went well and as Koeman entered an advanced stage to sign the Spaniard, the movement stalled which gave Wenger enough wiggle room to swoop in to the deal.

Sounds easy doesn’t it? Well, the likes of Barca, Athletico Madrid and Juventus were all keeping tabs on Perez, who seems to be the perfect striker to fit in at any club.

So no, this isn’t a signing that Wenger hopes will be one he can brag about in years to come, this is a player who was wanted by some of Europe’s giants.

It’s believed that Champions League football was enough to persuade Perez to join Arsenal instead of Everton, who doesn’t mind playing second-choice to Alexandre Lacazette.

2 – He’s Something Different To Giroud

We tried it with Alexis, he wasn’t the right man for the job. We tried it with Welbeck, but the injury curse hit too soon. Now, Perez can offer us something new up top.

Upon reflection you begin to realise just how different the left-footed striker is to Giroud, who has come under fire after failing to establish himself as a lethal finisher.

The point I’m trying to make is that Perez won’t simply come in and replace Giroud, but he gives us so much more of an option to play people in their strongest position.

Alexis can now thrive on the left-wing, whilst Giroud gives us an aerial threat should we need to use that, not because it’s the only thing we have to offer up top.

Arsenal, their formation and the way they score goals has become so predictable that any team feel they can have a go at us on match-day, so Perez can strike that fear factor again.

When looking at the stats, Giroud completed 11 successful take-ons last season, compare that to Perez’s 38 and all of a sudden you see what we’re dealing with.

Having watched his goals from past seasons, Perez isn’t afraid to have a go at the defence and rather than sitting and deciding whether to shoot, that can only be a good thing.

Strength is where the concern comes in, with a significant difference between the two in who can hold off a defender and get to the ball first, Giroud is way ahead on that.

That’s something Perez will have to adapt to, especially after coming from the Spanish division where attacking play is so much more open.

The two can barely be separated on goals though, Perez got himself 17 league goals whilst Giroud managed one less, so there’s definitely room for much-needed competition.

3 – Top Player, Average Company

When it comes to the background of Perez, we begin to understand that a move to Arsenal really is the big break he deserves

Perez is better known as simply “Lucas” and that’s what his shirt will read at the Gunners, and having grown up in the town of A Coruna it was a dream to play for Deportivo.

However, to get there the striker had to jump through many hoops which started off by playing in some of Spain’s lower leagues before getting noticed by Atletico Madrid.

He went on to play for their C team, before a switch to Rayo Vallecano’s reserves gave him a chance to push on and establish himself as an up and coming frontman.

As Rayo picked up promotion to La Liga, Lucas was sent off to pick up more experience and that’s where he found himself playing in Ukraine at Karpaty Lviv and Dynamo Kiev.

Another move to PAOK soon picked up interest from Deportivo, who picked him up on loan and after impressing went on to sign him permanently.

In the space of a year Lucas has managed to establish himself as a regular, picking up over 3000 minutes inside 36 league games for the club he grew up watching.

His 17 goals helped Deportivo to a lowly 15th placed finish and with very little promise of that season target changing, Lucas began to weigh up his options.

A move to the Premier League was high on his agenda and when Everton came sniffing around Deportivo knew they were powerless to letting their top goalscorer leave.

Despite signing for the Spanish club just over a year ago, Perez will now join the Gunners who were able to complete the deal quickly due to his €20million release clause.


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