Steve McClaren's response when asked whether Ayoze Perez will stay in the Newcastle team

Steve McClaren

Ayoze Perez put in an excellent display for Newcastle as they drew with Chelsea.

The Magpies may have thrown away a two-goal lead to only draw with Chelsea, but Steve McClaren has admitted to the Shields Gazette that Ayoze Perez has done enough to keep his place in the team following an impressive performance.

Asked if Perez will keep his place, McClaren said: “Yes, I don’t see why he does not stay in the team.”

Perez has a strong claim to be named one of Newcastle’s best players right now, and he is undoubtedly one of the hardest working members of the Magpies squad.

However, he is under appreciated by head coach McClaren, who has only utilised the 22-year-old as a back-up player this term.

The start against Chelsea on Saturday was only his third in the Premier League this season, with McClaren opting to play Georginio Wijnaldum as his number 10 this term, despite it not being his natural position.

Perez has been forced into the squad out of position, playing on the wing so far, and it was not until the game against Chelsea when he truly came into his own.

Playing just off Aleksandar Mitrovic as a support striker, the youngster excelled, scoring the opening goal and registering the assist for Newcastle’s second strike.

It was a performance which proved that Perez has the quality to be a success in the Premier League, and showed the same kind of quality as he did last year.

Considering the draw with Chelsea was one of the only times Newcastle have shown any sense of attacking threat this season, it would be foolish for McClaren to change his system around next week, with Manchester City hosting the Magpies on Saturday.

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