A rare commodity: Alan Shearer heaps praise on Ayoze Perez

The Newcastle legend has lauded the 22-year-old forward.

It's a rare commodity for Alan Shearer to single a Newcastle United star out for praise but he has done just that with Ayoze Perez, according to the Shields Gazette.

Indeed, finding anything good to say about a Newcastle player is a challenge for anyone these days, especially a man who did so well for the Tyneside outfit it must simply sicken him to see some of the current performances on show at St James' Park.

But young forward Perez has caught Shearer's eye for the right reasons.

Shearer is quoted as saying by the Gazette: "I remember when he played against Spurs. He was up front on his own and it’s a difficult role to play.

"I liked the way he kept toiling away, I liked his movement. He’s made an impressive start this year, particularly when the club’s spent big money on another centre forward (Aleksandar Mitrovic).

"Mentally, that might have been hard for him. He looks as if he’s taken it in his stride. He’s one of not many that have actually performed well this season."

 2015/16 GoalsAssistsChances  CreatedFinal-Third PassesDribblesMinutes Played
Georginio Wijnaldum 6 2 17 115 23 1,150
Ayoze Pérez 3 2 12 73 23 824
Aleksandar Mitrovic 2 0 4 43 8 695
Papiss Demba Cissé 1 0 4 24 0 335
Daryl Janmaat 1 1 11 108 11 1,024

As Opta stats show, Perez is easily one of Newcastle's top performers this season and, Georginio Wijnaldum aside, no one really comes close to the Spaniard in an attacking sense.

While the Magpies squad largely stand accused of playing without drive or passion, the 22-year-old has never really looked like he belongs in such an environment. Perez himself always works hard and always plays with energy and creativity.

He might consider it a shame he only has three goals to show for his efforts, although the bigger shame is that that still leaves him Newcastle's second-highest Premier League goalscorer.

Register for NEWCASTLE UNITED team updates

Register for HITC Sport - Daily Dispatch