Ayoze Perez had played every minute of Leicester’s season, playing full games in the Premier League when the Foxes beat Sheffield United and drew with Wolves & Chelsea.
Then the full game as Leicester defeated Newcastle in the League Cup on Wednesday.
However, with no goals or assists and some Leicester fans questioning the signing, Ayoze Perez found himself dropped and spending 90 minutes on the bench on Saturday. As Brendan Rodgers oversaw a convincing 3-1 home win over Bournemouth.
The one-time NUFC player says he understands that he has to justify his £30m price tag and that time is now.
Perez saying it is not a case of pressure to score goals but instead a responsibility to do so.
With seven, six and eight goals in his first three Premier League season, Ayoze Perez wasn’t prolific, though a bit of a jump to 12 last season helped him get the move to what the Spaniard says is a much more ambitious club than he left behind.
Even last season though we saw the usual relative feast and famine, where for long spells Ayoze Perez produces very little, before going on a bit of a run.
Only three goals in his first 22 PL games last season for Newcastle, then nine in the final 12 matches.
Interesting to see what happens at his new club this season.
Ayoze Perez speaking to The Athletic:
“It is time for me to prove what I am capable of.
“Obviously, as a striker, that means to score goals.
“It is not pressure, but it is a responsibility.
“I have to prove myself and prove to everyone I am worth the money.
“I’ve played in the No 10 role a lot, but I spent last season playing on the right, too, and I felt comfortable. I scored plenty of goals [13 in total, including six in the last five games of the season], so whether on the right or behind the striker, I feel comfortable.
“I try to get into the box where everything happens and I have that No 9 feeling to try to guess where the ball will go.
“That is why I used to be a No 9. I live in the box.
“He [Jamie Vardy] is such a great striker and a legend for this club…
“He makes football easier: when you have the ball in those positions, he makes great runs and he is very fast.”