NEWCASTLE United boss Alan Pardew has backed Ayoze Perez to be his super-sub this season, after hailing the Spaniard’s cameos from the bench.
The forward, who joined Newcastle from Spanish Second Division side Tenerife in the summer, has been restricted to bit-part run-outs for the first team.
But, while the youngster is yet to break his duck for the Magpies, impressive performances against champions Manchester City and, last Saturday, against Leicester City have singled him out as one to watch.
Pardew admits that Perez is not ready to start Premier League games just yet, but believes the 21-year-old’s “fantastic technique” and pace will see him create chances as a late replacement when defences are stretched.
“He can create moments,” admitted Pardew.
“He doesn’t really understand the Premier League yet and he’s not quite right physically ready.
“But he’s got fantastic technique and he created chances for us.”
Perez bagged four goals in a reserve-team outing against Carlisle earlier this month, showing the finishing ability that saw him plunder 16 goals in 34 games for Tenerife last season.
His form in Spain has seen him nominated by the LFP (Liga De Futbol) for two of its most prestigious awards – best breakthrough player and for the Second Division’s best attacking midfielder.
He joins the likes of Cristiano Ronaldo, Andres Iniesta and Chelsea keeper Thibaut Courtois, who are also up for awards in the ceremony in Madrid next week.