Lucas Perez is officially our new striker at Arsenal –
It has been abundantly clear recently that Arsenal required another striker.
With Olivier Giroud missing the first few games of the season, and Danny Welbeck again on the injured list, the options for the spearhead of our attack were threadbare.
Theo Walcott and Alexis Sanchez have both had spells as the sole striker, which only served to highlight the desperate need for another attacker to join the ranks – and the £17.1m capture of Spaniard Lucas Perez is a move that will allow adaptation during games.
Is the former Deportivo man the player we needed though? Is he good enough to make a mark on the team? Let us have a look at what he has done in his career thus far.
The striker known as ‘Lucas’ has acquired a fair bit of experience, but he started in the youth team of Atletico Madrid. He failed to make a first team appearance, and moved to Rayo Vallecano.
Then, in 2011, he signed for Karpaty in Ukraine. In 2013, he earned a loan move to Dynamo Kiev. His first season bore average figures, but eight in 18 in his second season was more of what he is capable of.
Fifteen goals in fifty one appearances in his short spell in Ukraine, but more interestingly, a Europa League game in the 2011/12 season versus PAOK Saloniki prompted the Greek side to purchase the Spaniard for £595k.
Ten goals, and fifteen assists in fifty appearances for the Greek side, are hardly world-beating figures. However, the assists figure hints at a player more than simply a goal-poacher.
His displays caught the attention of his homeland, and Deportivo acquired his services in 2014. His first season was nothing to write home about, but his second campaign – last season – is far more impressive.
17 goals last season, and eight assists, mean he has the goals that can make a difference for his new side.
Lucas is a converted winger, and it means he can adapt and shift when necessary, but his role for Deportivo was that of a striker, and it is this role that he can wreak the most havoc.
He is well known for his exocet of a shot, and he plays on the last shoulder of the defender, which is a perfect alternative to Olivier Giroud. Alternatively, if played together, he could profit immensely from Giroud flicking airborne balls to him. Not only that, Mesut Ozil is crying out for a more mobile striker that his visionary passes can find, so our team will no doubt be stronger as a result of his presence.
His age means he is a short term option. Nearly 28, he can give 2-3 years of top level service. What is clear is that for all the clubs he has played for, Lucas takes a while to adapt, never truly gaining the figures he is capable of until his second season.
The problem is though, is that he has joined Arsenal. We expect dividends early, and if he doesn’t make an impact early, then a large slice of fans who already doubt him, will cast him aside as a waste of money.
Arsene Wenger knows far more than we do in regards to knowing if a player is right for our squad. Lucas can make a difference, but he also must work hard to get the fans onside. If effort is shown, then have no doubt that the majority will give him the leeway to acclimatise.
Lucas possesses the weaponry to fill the void in goals, and we can hopefully look forward to the Spaniard registering double figures for the foreseeable future. He was on many top clubs radar for very good reasons, and acquiring his service can only be seen as a good thing.