By Will Butcher
Ayoze Perez has declared that he wants to help fire Newcastle back into the Premier League.
Newcastle’s big guns have all been linked with an instant return to the top flight, with Georginio Wijnaldum, Moussa Sissoko and Tim Krul rumoured to leave.
Tottenham are among the club who have been linked with a move for versatile forward Perez.
But the 22-year-old has delivered some welcome news to Newcastle fans by insisting he will be at St. James’ Park this season.
“I already said when the team went down that I would try to come back to the Premier League,” Perez said, as quoted by the South Shields Gazette. “That’s it. I’m focused. I’m here. Now we need to get fit for a tough season.
“We have had a rest, now it’s time to start again, work and focus on the season ahead. We try to get back as soon as possible.”
The former Tenerife man joined The Magpies in 2014 for around £2million, and was a rare shining light during last season’s dismal campaign.
Supporters will be delighted by the commitment to the club’s Championship campaign by one of their prize assets.
The Spanish under-21 international scored six goals in a side that struggled to put the ball in the back of the net, and signed a new five-year deal in February that ties him to Tyneside until 2021.
The playmaker, who can play in the number 10 role, out wide or as a centre-forward, revealed his delight at manager and fellow countryman Rafa Benitez staying on as boss.
“We all know how important Rafa is for Newcastle,” said Perez. “He always helps everyone at the club. It’s good to have him as our coach. He’s important for me. We are going to learn a lot from him.”
In other Newcastle news, Benitez is closing in on his sixth summer signing from his Championship rivals.