Most people expected Spanish striker Lucas Perez to leave Arsenal this summer after he spent last season on-loan at Deportivo La Coruna in La Liga. His agent was talking as if he was all but gone from the north London club. Even saying that Serie A outfit Lazio had been in touch over Perez’s availability.
Emery’s arrival good news for Perez
However, according to Spanish publication El Desmarque, Perez could have a future at Arsenal after all, as the Gunners new head coach Unai Emery is a big fan of the 29-year-old.
Reportedly, Emery will hold talks with Perez about his future in May, as the 46-year-old looks to assess his options before making any moves in the transfer market. The same report claims that Emery attempted to sign the forward when he took over at PSG in 2016.
Not given enough chances at Arsenal
I have to admit that in the past I have questioned Lucas Perez’s quality. However, looking at the limited playing time afforded to the forward during his time in north London it seems that Arsene Wenger did not really give him a fair chance to impress.
The Spaniard was used mostly in the cup games and as a substitute when the Gunners needed a goal. He never looked like he was ever going to be first choice central striker for the north London side.
The fact that he can also play out wide is an asset, especially as he has good pace and decent movement.
With reports suggesting that Emery will have a limited transfer budget this summer, the Spanish boss has to look at the options already available at the club. Emery has a history of getting the best out of players. Maybe he can get just a bit more out of his compatriot.
A second chance to prove himself
It is hard to see Lucas Perez suddenly becoming a key player at Arsenal. He is 29 years old. He will not dramatically improve, even under a good coach like Emery. However, this represents a second chance for the forward to prove himself.
He is unlikely to get into the team in the central striker role, with Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette first choice for the Gunners. However, he could be a useful option from out wide. If Emery can get something out of Perez, then maybe he should be given another chance in the Gunners first team.
Can Emery turn Lucas Perez into a useful asset for the Gunners?