There are very few cases in recent Arsenal history as bewildering as that of Lucas Perez. Arsenal, of course, bought Perez last summer for £17 million, as a supplementary attacking option to Giroud and Walcott, only to basically park him on the bench and almost never use him. He made 21 appearances last season, 11 in the league, and was a pretty effective option whenever he appeared, scoring three goals in three European appearances, three in seven in domestic cups, and one goal in limited time (265 minutes over 11 appearances) in the Premier League.
I’m not alone in this, but I’m bewildered at how little time Lucas got last season, particularly in light of Arsenal continuing to employ Olivier Giroud, he of the very streaky nature. I had figured that Lucas would pick up some of the slack when Giroud was struggling a bit, but it didn’t work out that way.
And now, not for the first time, Lucas has been vocal about wanting to leave the club. The last straw for him, it would appear, was the club giving his #9 shirt to Alexandre Lacazette without asking or consulting with him first:
“They [Arsenal] are not behaving well with me,” Perez reportedly told Law. “The thing of taking the shirt number without telling me to give it to a companion, it seems to me the last straw. I cannot continue this way. I have given everything, but that has not been reciprocated, so I can’t stand it any longer.”
I don’t think Lucas would have been the most legendary Arsenal striker ever, but he could have done a job, and the fact that he couldn’t even get enough minutes to disprove that notion is really too bad. He said in the linked interview that he sees himself back in Coruna, and Deportivo have apparently offered him a 10 year contract that contains provisions allowing him to work for the club after his playing days are over. That seems like the best outcome to an unfortunately brief stay in London for the guy, and I hope it works out for him.