He could be Tenerife’s greatest ever youth product
Hailing from the small town of Maria Jimenez in Santa Cruz de Tenerife – a town with a population of just over 2,000 – Ayoze Perez could well be the best ever player to come through the ranks for the Chicharreros.
That’s according to Tenerife’s head of the cantera, or youth side, Sese Rivero, who told David Cartilege: "He’s a reference for every single young player coming through."
"Organised, disciplined and hardworking – it makes me proud because we see in him the hard work of many years."
Last season’s haul of 16 goals in 34 Segunda Division games in the 2013/14 season went some way to justifying the hype – it was also the first time since the 1987/88 campaign that a Tenerife player had scored as many goals.
Ayoze used to earn as much as a part-time waiter
One of the main reason’s Ayoze Perez refused to sign a new contract during the final year of his contract with the Spanish club was that Tenerife simply could not meet his financial demands.
While the 20-year-old’s contract with the club contained a €2 million buy-out clause, the striker was actually taking home roughly €600 a month at the club, according to David Cartlidge of World Soccer and In Bed with Maradona, which equates to just under £500 on UK shores.
He’s been compared to Diego Maradona and Lionel Messi
Perez may only have been in England a short time, but even before a ball had been kicked in the Premier League this term, the forward was garnering high praise from Spanish news daily AS, which compared the 20-year-old to two of the games Argentinean greats.
The comments came after Perez starred for Newcastle in an 8-0 win in a pre-season friendly with Carlisle that featured a memorable solo goal from the Tenerife man, which was one of four for Perez.
"Is Ayoze's goal against Carlise better than the one from Maradona and Messi?," they asked. "The Spanish Newcastle striker dribbled almost half of Carlise United team in a friendly. It was a world-class goal."
The Spaniard came close to moving elsewhere
While much has been made of Perez’s recent comments claiming that both Real Madrid and Barcelona were interested in bringing the Tenerife forward to La Liga, arguably Newcastle’s biggest rivals in the pursuit of the striker were Porto.
As the 20-year-old, himself, explained in an interview with Portuguese publication Cadena Ser, the youngster lifted the lid on why the deal never came to pass.
"At the last moment, we noticed some hesitation, doubts, while Newcastle’s approach was very strong commitment and trust."
Ayoze Perez has a less successful brother
The Newcastle United man may be tearing it up in the Premier League at present, but spare a thought for his brother Samuel Perez, who can also be found playing for Blyth Spartans in the Northern Premier League Premier Division – the seventh tier of English football.
Still only 22 years old, like Ayoze, Samuel is a striker, who started his career at Murcia before playing on loan for Spanish third-tier sides Coruxo and Real Balompedica Linense.
He moved to the North East with his brother this summer and impressed enough on trial with Blyth Spartans to earn a move.
"We’re pleased to get Sammy on board, he’s done well in the training sessions and in the pre season games so far and is clearly a talented, technically good player," said Assistant Manager Colin Myers.