When Ayoze Perez first arrived from Tenerife two years last summer for just €2M, he was a young player with excellent skills and good vision on the pitch, but he little physical prowess.
Alan Pardew immediately put him into the first team squad even though he had initially been bought for Peter Beardsley’s Development squad – and he quickly started to produce for the first team.
Since he arrived Ayoze has bulked up a lot, but he still lacks physicality in his play and there other parts of his game that still have lots of room for improvement.
Ayoze Perez – improving under Rafa Benitez
However, we are seeing this season an improvement in Perez’ overall play and the 23 year-old has a real connection with Rafa because they are both Spanish.
Ayoze was born and played for Tenerife and Rafa was the manager there from 2000-2001 when he got them promoted to La Liga – so there’s another connection between the two men.
Perez believes that he and the team are making good progress under Rafa’s excellent coaching and man management skills:
“Benitez always makes sure that everything is right and everyone is trying to learn from him.” “Everyone is improving as players individually and also as a team.”
“It’s important for me to have that connection of Tenerife with him and to understand everything clearly he tells me because we speak the same language.”
“It’s important because I know what he wants from me and we are trying to do it properly.” “Individually and also as a team we are getting better under him.”
“The team is growing, is doing better every game.” “Individually as well I feel like I am growing as a player and that’s why I am happy.”
“The mood feels different.” “The truth is we are playing much better, we are playing good football and it’s very different to least season.”
“We feel comfortable now, we are confident and you can feel it outside on the pitch.” “Everyone is happy because we are still top of the table.”
Perez is Newcastle’s second top scorer with 6 goals from 15 appearances and five goals behind top goal-scorer Dwight Gayle.
Here are all of Newcastle’s goal-scorers.