Is Ayoze Perez Newcastle's alternative Player of the Year?

Many expect Moussa Sissoko to be Newcastle's Player of the Year - but one player should also be in with a shout.

There hasn't been much to shout about for Newcastle fans this season, but like every other club up and down the country, they will be having their annual Player of the Year award up for grabs.

After a great season personally, midfielder Moussa Sissoko will be many fans' choice to win the award - with little competition standing in his way.

You could make a case that Papiss Cisse or Jack Colback should be in the running, but only one player can realistically challenge Sissoko - Ayoze Perez.

The 21-year-old Spaniard joined Newcastle from Tenerife last summer, but was something of an afterthought given that the Magpies also signed two other strikers in Facundo Ferreyra and Emmanuel Riviere, whilst attacking midfielders Siem de Jong and Remy Cabella were also purchased.

Ferreyra hasn't even kicked a ball, Riviere remains goalless, de Jong has spent most of the season on the treatment table whilst Cabella has blown hot and cold in his debut season in the Premier League.

Yet in Perez, they have found a gem. A player who has far exceeded expectations and provided some of the most exciting moments at St. James' Park this season, Perez is a player who can give Newcastle fans hope about the future of the club.

Five goals in 29 games isn't much to write home about, but his performances have been excellent considering that this is his first season in English football, showing skill and technique to become a fan favourite inside his first 12 months on Tyneside.

Whilst the bigger name signings grabbed the headlines upon their arrivals, Perez is the one who has captured the hearts of the Toon Army faithful when nobody expected him to - and if he doesn't win the Player of the Year award this season, you can make a fairly safe bet that he will do in the future.

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