Wenger praises new £17.1m signing Lucas Perez

Date published: Tuesday 30th August 2016 2:41

Lucas Perez Football365

Arsene Wenger has spoken highly of Lucas Perez after Arsenal completed a deal to sign the Deportivo La Coruna striker.

The 27-year-old emerged as a club target last week, and a £17.1m deal has finally been pushed through after his medical.

The Spaniard scored 19 goals in all competitions last season, and provides added competition in forward positions for the Gunners.

Wenger, who insisted Perez was not a panic buy last week, was delighted to finally seal his signature.

“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,” he told Arsenal’s official website. “He’s got a good eye for goal and had an outstanding season last year.”

He began his career with Atletico Madrid C and then moved to Rayo Vallecano before spells with Ukraine’s Karpaty Lviv and PAOK in Greece. He joined Deportivo in 2014, initially on loan.

Lucas becomes Wenger’s third summer signing – after midfielder Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach and Rob Holding from Bolton – but more could follow, taking the Gunners’ spending close to £100million.

Valencia’s Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi is a summer-long target and a £30m deal is reportedly close.

Speaking last Friday, Wenger denied Lucas was a panic buy, but welcomed comparisons with Jamie Vardy, the Leicester striker the Frenchman tried and failed to lure to the Emirates Stadium earlier in the summer.

“He is a late developer, he played in a different position,” Wenger said last Friday.

“He moved centrally in a successful way. I think he has good link up qualities, good finishing qualities. Let’s see if we can finish the job.”

When comparisons to Vardy were mentioned, Wenger said: “Yes, I like that one.”

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