Perez hits out at Arsenal for not giving him a chance

Joe Williams

Lucas Perez says he would be open to returning to Deportivo La Coruna in the summer after blasting Arsenal for not giving him a chance to prove himself.

The Spanish forward, who moved to the Emirates from Deportivo last August, has made only 11 Premier League appearances, scoring once, while he barely featured in the Champions League.

Perez feels he could have done more to help Arsenal challenge for honours, and in an interview with Spanish newspaper La Voz de Galicia, he said he has shared his concerns with Arsene Wenger.

“This season has been difficult because I think I’ve deserved to play more,” said the 28-year-old.

“I may not have done as well as others, but if they’d have given me more minutes I’d have produced better numbers: more goals and more assists.

“I’ve spoken to the coach and he admits as much, but he has own ideas and I respect that. I’d like more opportunities because I think I deserve them, but I’ll have to accept what comes my way.”

Perez captured Gunners boss Wenger’s imagination with his 17-goal haul last season, helping to keep the club in LaLiga, and the La Coruna-born player would gladly return to the Riazor.

He said: “I would like to prove that I’ve got the quality to win things with Arsenal.

“But if the moment comes when I can’t do that any more, or if they decide to transfer me, there is always the opportunity to go back to Depor.

“I know there are other clubs who want to sign me and my intention is to play in the Champions League. But in the summer we will see if Depor is still an option.”

Perez’s decision to leave Galicia when the 2016-17 campaign was already under way left a sour taste in the mouths of some Depor fans, and he is eager to reassure them he did not leave for money.

“People talk about you without knowing you, and that hurts sometimes,” he added. “I’ve only kissed the badge at one club and that was Depor’s. I never lied or did anything behind their back.

“They could have sold me to other clubs where I would have earned more, but for a smaller transfer fee, and I didn’t accept the moves because it was my home.

“I came (to Arsenal) to try and progress. I think anyone would do what I have done.”