Arsenal have ended their Summer long search for a striker with the news that they have signed Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna, the Spaniard joins for a fee of £17m after the players release clause fee was met. Arsene Wenger managed to snatch Perez from under the nose of Everton but although it’s a new face in the squad it’s not quite what Gunners fans would have had in mind in terms of new goalscoring personnel. After seeing Jamie Vardy turn down a move to the Capital and repeatedly being linked with the likes of Gonzalo Higuain and Alexander Lacazette over the course of the Summer the signing of 27 year old Perez must be viewed as somewhat of a step down.
With Higuain moving to Juventus for an Italian record fee while Lyon and Arsenal being miles apart in their valuation of Lacazette the moves for these two were always going to lead to a dead end. Wenger was once again accused of trying to find value in the transfer market instead of buying big and giving the squad a timely boost before the start of the season, but it’s once again that the hunt for value means that Wenger has concluded his transfer business late and giving his nearest rivals a huge start. His side are already 5 points behind both Manchester clubs and Chelsea and with the form they are showing at the start of this campaign it looks like it could be quite hard already for them to catch them up.
Perez managed to score 17 times in La Liga last season, making 36 appearances which meant he was scoring just short of 1 goal every 2 games and arguably it was his goals that kept Deportivo in La Liga as they managed a 15th place finish. If Perez can repeat that kind of goalscoring form in the Premier League then it would certainly represent good value in the transfer market for Wenger. Whether he scores that many goals or even makes anyway near that level of appearance for Arsenal remains to be seen but at least the signature of a new striker has gone somewhere to appeasing what was a very angry bunch of Arsenal fans at the start of the season.
Arsenal boss Arsène Wenger said of Pérez: “He’s not only a goalscorer, he’s a guy who combines well with partners, who can give a final ball and makes good runs, he’s got a good eye for goal and had an outstanding season last year” Therefore you get the feeling that he is going to be a very Arsenal type player one who can play off a main striker but also more importantly contribute goals himself. Oliver Giroud looked impressive in Euro 2016 when he was doing the hard work for Antoine Griezmann and it was a partnership that was one game from winning the trophy if Perez and Giroud can build a similar kind of partnership then it could be set to be a very promising one.