clock menu more-arrow no yes mobile

Filed under:

Where will Ayoze Perez fit into Benitez’s strategy?

Ayoze Perez was critical at the end of last season, leading to questions about his future.

Sporting Braga v Newcastle United - Pre-Season Friendly Photo by Octavio Passos/Getty Images

Ayoze Perez is an interesting player. Once highly sought after from top clubs like Real Madrid and Barcelona, he made his way to Newcastle United with the expectation that he would get not only more playing time at the club, but more experience in the Premier League that would be useful to his career.

It was a great career decision, as he got the playing time he desired. But Newcastle United never truly got the desired effect of his move, and perhaps it is because he became a starter so quickly.

Yet, at the end of last season, we saw flashes of brilliance. A player that changed the pace of play, and that controlled the game. All while having in between moments of dumb plays and mistakes, we saw the Perez we wanted to see a couple years ago.

But with new additions such as Yoshinori Muto, and Salomon Rondon, Ayoze Perez may once again find himself as a fringe starter. One that can certainly make an impact, but not a player trusted enough to hold onto the game for a full 90 minutes.

Rafa prefers a 4-2-3-1 formation which would inevitably leave Rondon at the top. Muto would likely take center mid with Jonjo Shelvey, with Kenedy and Ritchie on the ends. This is of course if Benitez prefers to play Muto in number 10 style role. Muto may also take over as a second striker, replacing Rondon in specific situations where more speed and less physicality is required.

Since Benitez took over, Perez has been removed from his typical striker role to a playmaker, a role he has shown flashes of brilliances, as well as failure. But after last season, there is no doubt — at least in my mind — that Perez should take a starting role with this club. If it weren’t for his goals, and his control of matches at the end of last season, we may not be talking about a club that has the potential to finish higher than tenth.