AYOZE Perez can make a big impact on the Premier League – after bulking up since his arrival at Newcastle United.
The forward, signed from Tenerfie this summer, came off the bench to make his Premier League debut in yesterday’s 2-0 home defeat to Manchester City.
And Perez came close to scoring seconds after his 83rd-minute introduction, which came with the game finely balance with City leading by David Silva’s first-half strike.
Fellow debutant Remy Cabella played him in on the left side of the box and Perez’s right-footed shot was deflected and flew inches wide.
Perez, prolific in Spain’s second division, was signed as a player for the future, but United manager Pardew feels he can also have say in the present, having impressed on the field since joining the club.
The 21-year-old, mindful of the demands of English football, has also worked hard on his physique.
“I have been impressed with him in pre-season,” said Pardew.
“Since he came to us, he must have grown a centimetre in muscle mass.
“He has got fantastic technique, though and he didn’t really do much wrong with that chance. He created a little moment, and it was only an unbelievable recovery tackle that stopped him scoring.
“He’s got a lovely manner to him and we have high hopes for him. I think he will play a part this season – how soon, we will have to wait and see.”
Newcastle matched City for most of the game, but they struggled to turn their possession in the final third of the pitch into clearcut chances, and visiting goalkeeper Joe Hart had just one save to make all game.
But there were encouraging signs for United, not least the performances of Jack Colback and Remy Cabella, his fellow summer signing.