Ayoze Perez has become a player that Liverpool should strongly consider in the summer. The Newcastle United forward may be available at the end of the season.
Perez has had a fine season for Newcastle, playing in a pragmatic side under Rafa Benitez. The team tends to be more defensive-minded than attacking but Perez has managed ten goals regardless.
That figure includes three match-winning performances in recent weeks. First, there was his two goals and assist against Everton, helping his side from 2-0 down to win 3-2.
Perez also hit the sole goal of the game away at Leicester City, picking up another valuable three points. Then this weekend, at home to Southampton, he bagged the first hattrick of his Premier League career in a 3-1 win.
It’s not just his goals that stand out, though – particularly to Liverpool. The front three under Jurgen Klopp are known for their hard work and defensive contributions. Perez, though, blows every forward in the league out of the water in that regard.
The 25-year-old tops the charts for both tackles and interceptions by forward players this season, according to Football 365. Combined, he has 101 – 36 more than the next highest. The most for Liverpool is Sadio Mane who does make 5th on that list, although his 49 is less than half of Perez’s total.
It’s clear that Perez could do what Klopp would ask of him – something that has arguably been the downfall of Xherdan Shaqiri and Daniel Sturridge this season.
He’s versatile, too. Perez is comfortable both playing and scoring from the right or in the hole. That kind of versatility would make him an ideal squad option at Anfield.
Perez has admitted he could leave Newcastle in the summer.
“I can hear what is coming for me, what they offer for me, and that’s it,” he said, according to the Chronicle. “But it doesn’t mean I am going to leave 100 per cent at the end of the season. It is going to be a difficult decision. It depends on a lot of things.”
If Perez does decide to leave, Liverpool should be there waiting this summer.