The Increasingly Curious case of Lucas Perez and Wenger’s Embarrassing treatment of him.

Looking understandbly fed up

What has Lucas Pérez done to Arsène Wenger to justify the continuous, inexplicable, appalling lack of game time, since he joined from Deportivo La Coruña?

I understand why many supporters are left wondering about the manager’s reluctance to play the Spaniard, however Arsène Wenger himself let slip some interesting words about Lucas Pérez during a recent interview with the Club’s official website. He basically admitted that he brought him in only because he did not know for how long Danny Welbeck would be out.

“At the start of the season I bought Lucas, who for me is a very good player. But why? Because Welbeck was out until now basically and I didn’t know how long it would take.”

Except for the “for me is a very good player” part, it’s not really flattering for the Spaniard, who didn’t do much to deserve the treatment he’s currently receiving; I hope that the manager has been frank to him about how much and where he would play him but it’s hard to understand why he’s regularly overlooked, especially if you see how many of our players have struggled for form and confidence.

One or the other not both?

What I understand from Arsène Wenger’s words is that there’s no long-term plan for him at the Club: he was bought to temporarily plug the hole left by Danny Welbeck long-term absence but the former Manchester United player’s early recovery suddenly made Lucas Pérez almost surplus to requirement – less than six months after he joined.

Lucas Pérez has already scored seven goals and provided four assists in roughly 900 minutes of football, which is rather impressive for a player who has never enjoyed a proper run in the team, but he has only featured – and shone – against lower teams or in meaningless games like Basel away; although it is not an excuse to overlook him for more serious games, it proves that Arsène Wenger never really counted on him.

Perhaps the manager was surprised by the Galician’s performances and didn’t really expect to be in such a delicate position at this point, when supporters and journalists are increasingly frustrated by the apparent unfairness towards Lucas Pérez, but it appears clear that Lucas Pérez is not part of the masterplan.

3 of 7 in Basle

Whether our scouting system is not good enough or Arsène Wenger himself rushed the decision to sanction the move, the result is that we have a very good player at our disposal but the manager is hesitating to unleash him.

In his post-match interview after the FA Cup win against Sutton United, Arsène Wenger acknowledged Lucas Pérez brilliant record but quickly reminded everyone that he has many options at his disposal, only mentioning the former PAOK striker at the end of the list – his current position in the pecking order.

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Alexis Sánchez is obviously ahead of him in the manager’s preferences and so is Theo Walcott, given the number goals he scored so far, but why are Olivier Giroud and Alex Iwobi also part Arsène Wenger’s favourite options?

The latter is a really promising guy but he hasn’t been near his best for some time now, while Olivier Giroud still has the limits we all know and make us very predictable.

On current form and performances, Lucas Pérez has done enough to bench both the Nigeria international and the former Montpellier target man – yet he’s restricted to domestic cup games and sporadic appearances from the bench.



My hypothesis is that, at 28 years of age, Lucas Pérez is not the hot prospect that Alex Iwobi is (or Danny Welbeck is, to some extent) – another talent who could owe his whole career to Arsène Wenger – nor can be the “Plan B” striker that Olivier Giroud is.

Too similar to Alexis Sánchez to represent a valid tactical variation and too old to be turned into a great footballer, Lucas Pérez finds himself in Arsène Wenger’s limbo, a place from where not many footballers were able to escape.

I hope his dedication, commitment, quality and fighting spirit will take him out of this no-man land, because he could play a major part in the second half of the season, but I fear he’ll be marginalised until the inevitable sale.

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3 Responses to The Increasingly Curious case of Lucas Perez and Wenger’s Embarrassing treatment of him.

  1. Roger G February 22, 2017 at 10:43 am #

    This is all
    part of the Arsenal everyday big storey with many of our growing fans wanting Wenger OUT.

    We (supporters) follow our team like a part of a big family >over broken glass,

    we watch every match enduring sometimes pain & days of happiness

    we see many of our team players have a good & some fantastic performances

    we see a few of our every day team players have many repetitive bad Games

    we see the those players that play team football and those few selfish in the games they play

    We see which players Wenger keeps good faith in of some of form players.

    we see Wenger keep faith in a few players having many repetitive bad Games week in week out

    We and the press see Wenger not playing proven TEAM players such as Lucas Perez

    we know the future prospects as the Iwobi & welbeck

    We see Wengers own choice who shall play & who won’t each week from these good & bad

    We pay a high price to get a this box view to gain all this knowledge above.

    We see many of our family Fans now moving over to the Wenger out crusade

    We see the press now supporting this crusade,

    We all heard Wenger say if he did leave we would still lose games.

    We Supporters of many years over or under Wenger reign see our Arsenal play some great football

    We see them in the top 4 each year and get knock out the European cup each year. with good & those bad players.

    We like most other football clubs want to win all games with 11 good Team players on the field

    If this was a court case based on the above .

    WE Arsenal supporters are the said jury because >>>>>>>>>

    We listen with our eyes, game in game out + plus We pay for these privilege

    Rest my case

  2. Victor Thompson February 23, 2017 at 2:14 pm #

    Perez would get more opportunities if Wenger operated a genuine “rotation” policy. Anyone with Perez,s stats would get game time in any club that played that way, but the problem with Wenger is that he has proved himself to be autistic, so far as reading a game is. Iwobi is very promising, but he is indecisive and he carries the ball more than he should. It is much faster and more efficient to pass the ball and let it do the work. He is not good at that.

    Conversely, Perez takes little time to control the ball, and he has already got his mind made up as to what comes next. He speeds the game up, gives the opposition less time to adjust and is more accurate with his passes than Iwobi. I think he is a better partner for Welbeck and if Sanchez has to move to the wing, then he can alternate with Walcott as well.

    Iwobi should be the most vulnerable to change because he is trying to play in Ozil`s position. That may be no bad thing because of Ozil`s current form, but Ox has earned the right to be a fixture in midfield and he is vastly more dangerous than Iwobi. This pool of players has been underperforming for some time and I put that down to Wenger. There is undoubted talent there, but there is no balance and no shape to it. In the days of Henry, Perez, Berkamp, Lundberg, Vieira, Sylva, Petit, Adams he did not have to coach them. He simply improved their fitness and let them sort the rest themselves.

    It is clear now, that he is a good judge of a player and he did assemble a group who gave him the good fortune of being able to play “off the cuff”. He reaped the benefit of their combined skills and their intelligence. Unfortunately, it disguised the so evident weaknesses in his tactical naivety and inflexibility to make changes when everyone can see that they need to be made.

  3. Samuel Ogungbayi February 26, 2017 at 11:11 am #

    Has the whole world of Arsenal fans not seen that the problem of Arsenal is Arsene.?Is it logical to buy a proven goal scorer from La Liga in Spain and bench him for favorites that are not scoring goals ? Wenger said he bought him because of Welbeck’s injury.Realy? When Welbeck was away due to injury, was Lucas Perez getting matches? In one of the Premier League matches against Man City or Everton we were trailing 1-2 ,when Wenger made a belated change as usual,he preferred Elneny (a defensive mid fielder) to Lucas Perez a striker and a proven goal scorer who was on the bench !
    You remember Joel Campbell ? It was the same last season and fans started to question Wenger why a good player that either scored or created scoring chances in addition to robust defensive work spent more time on the bench. Wenger ‘rewarded’ him this season by sending him to Portugal on loan!
    What is wrong if Welbeck and Perez play together and both score goals for Arsenal? Perez can play all positions upfront and with pace too. Why can’t Giroud and Sanchez be together upfront with each of them using their area of strength to score goals? Why should it always be “this or that” and not both in Arsenal attack? The reason is simple. A manager that is not capable of match – reading and lack technical depth and tactical variation cannot utilize his squad well to get the best out of array of stars at his disposal That is the situation in Arsenal FC. Pity !

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