Lucas Pérez probably wishes he just stayed in Spain. He played for his boyhood club, Deportivo La Coruña, last season and they now sit comfortably outside of the relegation zone in 15th place with 27 points, and while they’re not going to be playing for European places, life at Arsenal has got to be more stressful. With rumors flying all over about players leaving, or Wegner leaving, and the crushing of European Cup dreams at the hands of Bayern Munich, it’s probably not a fun time to be playing football at Arsenal.
Now this was a great goal.— - (@WengerTactic) January 3, 2017
Pure class from Lucas Pérez. pic.twitter.com/5T2o7PnWe8
Pérez burst onto the La Liga scene last year, scoring 17 goals in 36 league appearances for Dépor, helping the team avoid relegation, after making his loan from Greek side PAOK permanent, giving him a total of 24 goals in 59 appearances for the Spanish club. He was so successful that he was sold to Arsenal in August 2016, for a reported fee of £17.1 million. Arsenal, however, has had an interesting season for strikers, and Pérez has only featured 11 times in the league, with one goal, and has appeared 21 times overall with seven goals.
Now Pérez is rumored to be a target for West Ham United in the summer transfer window, with Ladbrokes even going so far as to “slash” the odds for a transfer to West Ham. Another striker linked to West Ham? Doesn’t that literally happen every single day? And, let’s be honest here, the list of strikers that the Gold and Sullivan regime has brought in has been particularly uninspiring. Even strikers that have promise seem to be preferred to other players when Andy Carroll pulled up injured.
So is this another lazy transfer rumor designed to get the punters excited and drop a few quid at the local betting shop? Possibly, but this kind of transfer checks all the usual boxes for a West Ham transfer. Plays for a “Big Six” team? Check. Seems to be surplus to requirements, might be able to get on the cheap? Check. Has missed significant time in the past with an injury? Check! Arsenal is rumored to have turned down a £26 million bid for Perez from China in January.
However, to be clear, Pérez was a quality striker in La Liga in 2016-17, and so the talent is there. And while things haven’t exactly worked out the way anyone wanted for him at Arsenal this year, well, NOTHING seems to have gone right over at the Emirates this season, so it’s hardly his fault. If the price is right, expect Pérez to be wearing Claret and Blue next season, and maybe he’ll even appear in more than 20 games, which would be remarkable for a West Ham striker at this point in time.