Leicester City have spent big to sign Ayoze Perez from Newcastle United.
The Spanish striker, 25, has joined the Foxes for a club-record $38 million, with Perez signing a four-year contract at the King Power Stadium.
Perez has spent the past five seasons at Newcastle and scored 48 goals in 192 appearances in all competitions for the Magpies.
Speaking about his move to Leicester, Perez is excited to help Brendan Rodgers push the Foxes towards European qualification.
“I’m very happy and very pleased. I’m very proud to be part of the Leicester family and I can’t wait to get started,” Perez said. “The Club want to keep growing as much as they can and that’s something I like. I spoke with the manager and that was important. That made me feel very comfortable about the decision to come here.”
Perez has been far from prolific during his time on Tyneside, but he did score 12 times in the Premier League last season which is his best-ever return. He has also scored the winner in each of his last two visits to Leicester as a Newcastle player, so maybe that also had something to do with this…
Rodgers said Perez is “quick, has a good eye for goal and he’s experienced in the Premier League” and added that he compliments Leicester’s other attackers well.
Where does he fit into this Leicester side? It looks like he is the long-term replacement for Jamie Vardy, who is now 32 years old.
The Foxes will rarely play with two up front as their wide midfielders Demarai Gray, Harvey Barnes, James Maddison and Marc Albrighton offer plenty of ammunition to the central striker. Perez may have to bide his time to start in this Leicester attack, but this is a heck of a lot of money for Leicester to spend to just have a nice option on the bench, especially with the likes of Kelechi Iheanacho and Islam Slimani still on the books.
It is likely the latter two strikers will leave this summer, and Perez is certainly more similar to Vardy than both of them. This is one of those transfers that initially makes you scratch your head, but the more you think about it, the more it makes sense.
If Perez was capable of scoring 10-12 goals per season in a team set up to defend first like Newcastle, he should be handed more chances at an attack-minded outfit like Leicester.
With Youri Tielemans lined up to arrive permanently and young right back James Justin signed, Rodgers’ revolution at Leicester is well and truly underway. After the way the Foxes finished last season, a push for seventh place is a very real possibility this season.
As for Perez’s former team Newcastle, his departure is another hammer blow for the Magpies who lost manager Rafael Benitez last week.