Since the sale of Robin Van Persie to Manchester United four years ago, Arsene Wenger has sought to sign a quality forward but has been thwarted in his efforts to do so on several occasions.
Perez possesses many qualities
However in the instance of Wenger’s pursuit of Lucas Perez, that has ended successfully, with Arsenal signing the 27-year-old striker from Deportivo La Coruna for £17.1m.
In capturing Perez, who is as yet uncapped at international level, Wenger has acquired a player who possesses an excellent all – round game and is well suited to Arsenal’s attractive style of play.
A superb finisher with great movement, Perez also links up and integrates well with teammates, whilst he is also adept at creating goal – scoring opportunities.
Perez vital to Deportivo’s fortunes
He consistently displayed each of those attributes for Deportivo last season, as in addition to scoring 17 goals in La Liga, Perez provided assists for another 10. That meant that Perez was directly involved in 60% of Deportivo’s 45 La Liga goals, as he was instrumental in helping the club avoid relegation.
Before signing a permanent deal with Deportivo last August, Perez moved to the Galician club on loan from PAOK Salonika for the 2014-2015 season during which he scored six goals in 21 La Liga appearances.
Spells in Greek & Ukrainian football aid Perez’s development
As such over the past two years, the late developing Perez has performed consistently well in Spain, prior to which he enjoyed a fine season with PAOK.
In scoring nine goals in 32 Greek Super League appearances, Perez helped PAOK finish the 2013-2014 campaign as runners-up, whilst he represented great value for money for the club as they signed him for just €700,000 from FC Karpaty Lviv, with whom Perez spent two-and-a-half seasons.
In total for the Ukrainian club, he played 60 times and scored 15 goals, one of which was a penalty against PAOK in the two team’s 2011-2012 UEFA Europa League Play – Off round tie.
To date that is one of four goals Perez has scored in European Competition, with the other three arriving during his time with PAOK.
Outset of Perez’s modest career
As well as playing for Deportivo in Spain, Perez began his professional career with Atletico Madrid C in 2007, before moving on to Rayo Vallecano two years later.
Initially Perez played for the Madrid – based club’s reserve side, before being promoted to their first team during the 2010-2011season during which he scored his first La Liga goal to help Rayo to a 3-0 home win over Real Vallodolid in November 2010.
Despite that Perez was allowed to leave Rayo and join Karpaty Lviv on a free transfer, as his development as a player gathered pace during his time in the Ukraine.
Subsequently although Perez’s career is modest relative to that of Arsenal’s highest profile players, such as Petr Cech, Mesut Ozil and Alexis Sanchez, having played throughout Europe the Spaniard has gained great experience, which will serve him well when representing the Gunners both domestically and in Europe.
Perez can become a success at Arsenal
The nature of Perez’s game, in the sense that it is characterised by his ability to link – up play, whilst creating and scoring goals, means that he undoubtedly has the potential to prosper at Arsenal, where the player’s technical ability will be fully appreciated not only by his new manager and team mates but also by the club’s supporters, who have long craved a striker of his quality.