Lucas Perez has expressed his anger at his situation at Arsenal, and in a reported meeting with Dick Law, said that the fact his number 9 was given to new signing Alexandre Lacazette without any consultation with him was the last straw.
The website, La Voz de Galicia (Galicia is the region of Spain he’s from and where La Coruña is), report on a conversation he had with the club’s transfer fixer last week, and although he’s desperate for a transfer, he feels hard done by over the shirt number and his treatment by the club itself.
They quote him saying, “I want to leave to play and be happy. 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 Dépor. 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 can not continue this way. I have given everything, but that has not been reciprocated, so I can’t stand it any longer.”
He reportedly went on to tell Law, “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. Since I have been a professional footballer, I’ve felt happiest in Deportivo, surrounded by my family, my friends.
“Put yourself in my place. I know I have chances to go to the national team. 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 Coruña.”
Now, they have these quotes attributed to Perez as a transcript of the meeting, but not in the traditional style we’d normally see them. So, there might be some poetic licence, but it seems clear that the source of them won’t be too far from the player himself, and his desire to leave is beyond question.
The Spaniard was not on the tour of Australia and China, and is definitely surplus to requirements following the signing of Alexandre Lacazette.
All that remains is to see how big a hit Arsenal will have to take on a player they paid £17m for last August.