By Harvey Byrne
Ayoze Perez put in a poor display against Fulham in Newcastle’s 1-0 loss in their opening match on Friday – and Newcastle supporters took to Twitter to heckle the wide man.
The Spanish winger was criticized for going down too easily during the match and he also failed to control the ball on numerous occasions.
Newcastle were strong favourites to win the league this season and starting their campaign with a defeat has clearly dented the optimism surrounding the club in recent months.
The Toon went down after towering striker Matt Smith banged in a powerful header just before half-time and it ended up being the game’s single goal.
Fans of the north east club are unhappy that Perez got off to such a poor start, with many claiming that the 23-year-old is vastly overrated.
Fans took to Twitter to share their views on the winger’s display:
Never understood the hype about Perez massively overrated #NUFC
— Ethan Shiels (@Shielsy1) August 5, 2016
Ayoze Perez is one of the most criminally overrated players i've ever seen, always linked with big teams but i've never seen him do anything
— Elliott Wheatley (@ElliottWheatley) August 5, 2016
Perez off. So overrated.
— Jack Thompson (@JackT94) August 5, 2016
— Ashley Hitchen (@ashhitch3) August 5, 2016
Perez is ridiculously overrated- Newcastle need a change up front imo
— Muzakir Ahmed (@MuzakirAhmed) August 5, 2016
Don't want to see Perez in a black and white shirt again, woefull, Matt Ritchie though! Top player
— Garry laidler (@Ga22ylaidler) August 5, 2016
Perez keeps going down easy, get up man.
— Curt (@CThorpe27) August 5, 2016
The versatile forward has been linked with a shock move back to his homeland, with Spanish Champions Barcelona reportedly interested in signing Perez as back-up to Lionel Messi, Luis Suarez and Neymar, according to the Daily Mail.
Perez is currently tied down to Newcastle until 2021 and is said to be happy at St. James’ Park and is eager to play a big role under Benitez this season.
The Spain Under-21 international has already made 76 appearances for Newcastle in the two years since he joined from Tenerife.
Perez scored six goals last season but couldn’t prevent the Magpies from being relegated from the Premier League.
Newcastle will face Huddersfield next in eight days time and their supporters will be eager to see how the club bounces back from their opening day defeat.
In other Newcastle team news, Rafa Benitez admits agents are speculating furiously about Moussa Sissoko leaving the club.