Pardew admits to doubts about Perez’s physicality – but it’s not an issue now

NATURAL ABILITY ... Ayoze Perez.
NATURAL ABILITY ... Ayoze Perez.
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AYOZE Perez’s small in stature, but he’s already had a big impact in the Premier League.

And Newcastle United manager Alan Pardew is just glad the club secured his services in the summer amid interest from Real Madrid, Barcelona and Porto.

Perez has scored in the United’s last three Premier League victories.

The 21-year-old scored Newcastle’s first goal in yesterday’s 2-0 win over West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns with a clever flick.

And Pardew believes his slight frame and size isn’t an issue – because of his natural ability.

“We worked hard to bring him to the football club,” said Pardew.

“We thought his physicality could be an issue, but he has so much technical quality that you hope that sees him through – and it has.

“His goal was worthy of winning any game. The cross had good pace on it, but he had to add pace with his flick. That’s outstanding.

“He had some great little moments when he manoeuvred the ball. We played him on his own and that could have been a risk, but he really worked hard. He put in a real shift.”

Perez was scouted playing for Tenerfie in Spain’s second division last season.

Newcastle weren’t the only club represented at those games.

“We had scouts looking at him all through last season at Tenerife,” said Pardew.

“He was wanted by some big clubs, in particular Porto. They don’t sign anyone unless they are good a player. That really underlined what we had seen.”