By Russell Edge

16th Sep, 2017 | 5:32pm

Newcastle player ratings v Stoke: Forward fails to shine, midfielder is crucial in victory

Ayoze Perez – 7

The Spanish forward has not quite settled back into the pace of the Premier League, but this was without a doubt his best performance so far this season.

He was a willing runner up front, offering support down the flanks as well as through the centre, and worked well to find his own space, as well as create space for his team mates.

However his lack of goals or assists may have Benitez thinking about alternatives for that role, and Perez will have to up his game if he is to remain a guaranteed starter.

Click ’12’ below to see how we rated Newcastle’s players against Stoke