Former Chelsea and Aston Villa midfielder Andy Townsend suggested on BBC Radio 5 Live Sport last Friday evening (February 12, broadcast from 7pm) that Newcastle United head coach Steve McClaren should start Ayoze Perez more regularly.
“I like this kid (Perez) and I think that Newcastle will be better served to focus on his qualities as a nine and a half, nine, a little bit more,” said Townsend. “I think too often they have brought him off the bench and put their faith in others that don’t seem to carry the sort of threat.
“Maybe Steve McClaren still feels that he is best served by coming off the bench for 20, 25 minutes to go. I like the boy. I think he works hard, I think he is bright, I think he is brave in taking responsibilities.”
Perez has been on the books of Newcastle since 2014 and is one of the more promising young players at the club.
The 22-year-old forward has scored five goals and created 27 chances in 23 Premier League appearances so far this season, seven of which have been as a substitute.
The Spaniard has a pass accuracy of 77% and a shot accuracy of 42%, and has won four headers, 28 dribbles and 28 tackles.
The youngster has impressed on occasions so far this season, and perhaps McClaren should heed Townsend’s advice and play him from the start more regularly.
During the 2014-15 campaign, Perez scored seven goals and created 27 chances in 36 Premier League matches for Newcastle.