Football

Lucas Perez.

Lucas Perez discusses Arsenal move in first interview

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Arsenal have announced the arrival of Deportivo La Coruna striker Lucas Perez in a deal worth £17.1 million - and it's about time too.

The Gunners' search for a new striker this summer has been an arduous and frustrating one but, with just over 24 hours remaining of the transfer window, it's finally come to an end.

Fast, energetic and clinical in front of goal, the 27-year-old doesn't necessarily represent an upgrade on Olivier Giroud but rather someone who offers something entirely different going forward.

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In an official statement confirming Perez's move on Arsenal's official website, Arsene Wenger revealed exactly what tempted him into signing the Spaniard.

He said: "He's not only a goalscorer, he's a guy who combines well with partners, who can give a final ball and makes good runs.

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"He's got a good eye for goal and had an outstanding season last year."

It's what convinced Perez of moving to the Emirates Stadium that will interest fans most, though. Was it money? The chance to play in the Premier League? Or even just the opportunity to don Arsenal's famous red strip?

Well, in his first interview as an Arsenal player, he discussed just that.

He said: "It's a massive step in my career to come to a club with the history and quality that Arsenal have and be able to play in competitions like the Premier League and the Champions League.

"I'm delighted. I'm very proud and happy to be here. I was really happy and flattered when I heard about Arsenal’s interest. I was very hopeful to get the chance to come here.

"They're a great side, they're fighting for titles, they play in Europe and they’re just a massive club. They have some fantastic players and that attracts all players.

"I want to show what I'm about, get stuck into playing and perform well."

Seventeen goals and eight assists in La Liga last season - especially so for a side that finished 15th - suggests Perez has the potential to be an excellent signing.

Rayo Vallecano v RC Deportivo La Coruna - La Liga

What's more is Wenger now has a big decision to make with regard to who will be his first-choice striker.

Perez is expected to inherit the No.9 jersey - vacated by Lukas Podolski in 2015 - and provide stiff competition for Giroud, who has flattered to deceive since joining Arsenal four years ago.

But what the Frenchman lacks, his new teammate makes up for.

Whereas Giroud is strong in the air and likes to hold the ball up, Perez thrives from latching on to defence-splitting through balls, which he will inevitably receive plenty of with Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez and Santi Cazorla alongside him.

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Topics:
Thierry Henry
Alexis Sanchez
UEFA Champions League
Theo Walcott
Football
Premier League
Arsenal

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