Wantaway Arsenal striker blasts club’s ‘ugly gesture’

Matt Stead

Lucas Perez believes giving Alexandre Lacazette his shirt number is “the last straw” at Arsenal.

Perez joined the Gunners from Deportivo La Coruna last summer for around £17million, but has found playing opportunities difficult to come by.

The striker scored eight goals and assisted a further six in 22 appearances, but started just ten games in all competitions.

The Spaniard reportedly discussed his situation with Arsenal transfer chief Dick Law, with the striker unhappy with his No. 9 shirt being handed to new signing Lacazette.

“I want to leave, to play and be happy,” Perez said, according to La Voz de Galicia.

“Last year I barely had any opportunities and when I had them I took advantage of them. And this season is clearly going to be more of the same.

“I want to fight to go to the national team. I want to play football, but for that I have to leave. And I think that the best place for me is at home, with Depor.

“They [Arsenal] are not behaving well with me. The thing of taking the shirt number without telling me to give it to a companion, it seems to me the last straw.

“I cannot continue this way. I have given everything, but that has not been reciprocated, so I can’t stand it any longer. I feel cheated. In February I was not allowed to leave for China with the promise that I would play more and after that I had even fewer opportunities.

“But the shirt number is an ugly gesture. On the trip, Lacazette asked the boss and he accepted. Afterwards, he told me. Last year he [Wenger] told me that he understood that I was upset. I think this season things will get worse, so help me out.

“To play the World Cup. A dream. But for that I have to play and I have to be happy. That’s why I want to go back to Coruna.”