Newcastle fans have high expectations for their players, but our scrutiny can be a little harsh. Quiet games are not unique to Ayoze Pérez, yet he tends to receive more criticism than others.
What I’ve heard is that he doesn’t give the same effort as other players like Matt Ritchie. Pérez is just one of a handful of players to remain from Alan Pardew’s time as manager. Pérez endured the Carver era, the McClaren era, and stayed through relegation. Ayoze might not be a tenacious defender like Matt Ritchie, but his dedication should not be questioned.
At just 25 years old, he has plenty more years to improve and grow into a role. Ayoze has rotated positions, often playing behind the striker or as a wide midfielder. With new managers come new formations and new playing styles. While Pérez hasn’t settled into one position, he has maintained consistency in production despite the change around him. In his third full season under Rafa Benitez, he looks to take his game to the next level. Since arriving from Tenerife in 2014 for about 2 million pounds, Pérez has far eclipsed the value of his transfer fee.
Just how much, though, has Ayoze Pérez done for Newcastle United?
Pérez has 27 goals in 135 Premier League appearances (101 starts), equating to 0.2 goals per appearance. He is averaging a goal every five matches, and that goal frequently comes when United needs it most. In this section, we look at how many times Ayoze has contributed an important goal in a win or draw.
2014-15 Winning goal @ Tottenham 2-1
2014-15 Winning goal vs Liverpool 1-0
2014-15 Goal vs Everton 3-2
2014-15 Equalizing goal vs West Bromwich Albion 1-1
The 2014-15 season ended with a crucial win on the last day to save Newcastle from relegation.
Jonás Gutiérrez scoring to assure United’s survival is one of my favorite Newcastle memories. This moment never could have happened without Ayoze’s pivotal goals keeping his team within striking distance of Premier League safety.
2015-16 Winning goal @ Bournemouth 1-0
2015-16 Winning goal @ Tottenham 2-1
(Skipping the 2016-17 season in the Football League Championship. 9 goals and 6 assists)
2017-18 Goal @ Southampton 2-2
2017-18 Winning goal vs Huddersfield 1-0
2018-19 Winning goal vs Watford 1-0
Over four Premier League seasons, Ayoze Pérez has tallied 10 match-winning goals. Pérez has scored the winning goal in 10 of the team’s 40 Premier League victories since he arrived. Via Transfermarkt, Ayoze has scored 2 first half goals and 12 second half goals in the last two seasons. He is a clutch player, which is a valuable asset for any team.
Some supporters have called for his replacement in the transfer market. While I wouldn’t object to bringing in another attacker, we shouldn’t discount Ayoze’s ability to impact a game. Ayoze has scored some fantastic goals for Newcastle and he is certainly talented enough to start in the Premier League. Pérez has shown loyalty to the club and provided us with some great memories, so I hope we can show him more support going forward.