MATCH-WINNER Ayoze Perez has described his stunning jump to Premier League stardom as a “dream come true”.
Perez scored a winning goal for the second time in a week on Saturday as his second-half strike guided Newcastle United to a 1-0 victory over Liverpool.
The 21-year-old was expected to be little more than a fringe player in the short-term after joining Newcastle from Spanish second tier side Tenerife in the summer.
However, he has emerged as a key player in the Magpies’ return to form over recent weeks, and says the four-match winning streak has proved to him he made the right decision in joining the club.
Perez said: “It feels incredible – I couldn’t ask for any more.
“It’s a dream come true for me.
“To make the jump from a team like Tenerife to playing in the Premier League is incredible, really, and it’s something that I always wanted to do.
“There was a lot of interest in me from some very important teams, but I always knew that Newcastle would be the right move and the last few results have just proved that.
“I know I made the right decision and I am very happy here.
“(The goal against Liverpool) was a huge moment for me.
“When the ball hit the back of the net, the noise was something else.
“To have 50,000 people cheering your goal was a special moment.”
Perez is one of a number of young players to have emerged in recent weeks, with the likes of Mehdi Abeid, Paul Dummett, Sammy Ameobi and Rolando Aarons also impressing.
The striker says being part of a clutch of youngsters has helped him settle in quickly at Newcastle.
He added: “It definitely helps having so many young players around me, and that has made it easier for me to settle in.
“To be around other players who are trying to break into the team as well helps you feel more confident that you can do it yourself.
“We train together as a group and try to look out for each other.
“We support each other and I think that’s definitely helping us to do well when we are called upon to play in the team.”
Perez has been particularly helped by Fabricio Coloccini since joining, and he has paid tribute to the club captain for taking him under his wing.
When asked if he was ahead of schedule this season, Perez said: “Yes, definitely.
“I always hoped I could do well, but things have been very good and I am feeling great here.
“I feel like I’m settling in well and I just can’t wait to play more games now, because I feel like when I play I can score more goals.
“Fabricio has been a massive help for me.
“He has tried to look after me and I can only thank him for his support.
“He has made things much easier for me, which was important when I made the move to England.
“He has looked out for me since I moved to Newcastle, and it is nice to have somebody like that, who is such a big figure at the club.”