By Danny Wright
Lucas Perez has slammed Arsenal for the way that they have treated him in his first year at the Emirates and is now looking to exit the club.
The 28-year-old has claimed that he has been “cheated” by the Gunners hierarchy, who broke their promise of giving him increased first-team football after blocking a move to China in February.
The former Deportivo striker started just two Premier League fixtures last season and only made two appearances off the bench between February and the end of the campaign.
Perez has also been stripped of the No 9 shirt following the arrival of Alexandre Lacazette, leading him to slip further down the Gunners’ pecking order.
Now, Spanish news outlet La Voz de Galicia has revealed a conversation Perez had last week with Arsenal’s transfer negotiator Dick Law, in which he failed to hold back his true thoughts about the club.
“I want to leave, to play and be happy,” said Perez, as translated by the Telegraph.
“Last year I barely had any opportunities and when I had them I took advantage of them. And this season is clearly going to be more of the same. I want to fight to go to the national team. I want to play football, but for that I have to leave. And I think that the best place for me is at home, with Dépor.”
“They [Arsenal] are not behaving well with me. The thing of taking the shirt number without telling me to give it to a companion, it seems to me the last straw.
“I cannot continue this way. I have given everything, but that has not been reciprocated, so I can’t stand it any longer. I feel cheated. In February I was not allowed to leave for China with the promise that I would play more and after that I had even fewer opportunities.”
Perez’s stunning transfer revelation comes as the Sun reports that Bayer Leverkusen and Marseille are weighing up moves to end the striker’s Emirates nightmare.
It is understood that it could cost them £11million to steal Perez away from Arsenal ahead of a season which the Spaniard is clearly looking to impress in due to the World Cup taking place next summer.
Perez earned just 21 appearances across all competitions for Arsenal last season, and despite most of them coming off the bench, he still managed an impressive goal record by finding the net on seven occasions.
Football Insider Verdict
It’s easy to see why Perez is so eager to leave. He is desperate to have a chance of getting into Spain’s World Cup squad next summer, but he simply won’t be able to have the chance to impress if he stays at Arsenal. The striker’s words came across as a little disrespectful, but his anger seems to stem from the point that a major promise wasn’t upheld in February. It’s great to see that Perez isn’t happy to just pick up his pay cheque and carry on with life, and that’s the desire and hunger than Arsenal now look to have missed out on due to their mismanagement. A host of Premier League teams should look to snap him up this summer because he clearly has talent.
In other Arsenal news, the Gunners have sent scouts to keep close tabs on this international winger.