COMMENT By Dominic Toner
Arsenal forward Lucas Perez should be named in the starting line-up against Southampton on Wednesday night.
The Gunners host the Saints in the EFL Cup quarter-finals and manager Arsene Wenger is expected to make several changes.
The north London club travel to West Ham in the Premier League on Saturday and Wenger is set to play some of his squad players against the Saints.
Perez has been sidelined with an ankle injury in recent matches, but is in contention to make his return against Southampton.
The 28-year-old should be selected to spearhead the Arsenal attack as Olivier Giroud has been ruled out, while in-form Alexis Sanchez should be rested for the Premier League.
Perez has made just six appearances for Arsenal since he completed a £17.1million move from Spanish side Deportivo.
The striker scored two goals in the EFL Cup victory against Nottingham Forest, but is yet to register in either the Premier League or Champions League.
He was recruited in the summer to provide competitions for the forward and must be given the opportunity to impress against Southampton.
Perez showed his qualities in front of goal for Deportivo last season, scoring 19 goals in just 39 appearances.
Arsenal are currently benefiting from the sensational form of Sanchez and the cameo appearances from Giroud, but Wenger is likely to need a third option during the season.
Perez needs to be eased into the starting XI for Premier League matches and Wednesday’s cup competition is a perfect opportunity for him to settle.
In other Arsenal news, the club’s supporters reacted on Twitter to their 17-year-old goal machine.