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Newcastle new signing Perez pleasing Pardew

Newcastle United, 16/1 with Coral for a top six finish this season, have always had their fair share of cult heroes. Faustino Asprilla, David Ginola and Patrick Kluivert to name just a few.

In Ayoze Perez, they may have unearthed not just a new fan favourite, but a diamond in the making; a jewel in any future Spanish crown. Having started the season on the bench for Newcastle, the former Tenerife forward has now netted three in as many matches, including a sublime, cultured flick against West Bromwich Albion last time out.

With Perez previously stating that he turned down advances from Barcelona and Real Madrid, it has also been revealed that there were other clubs chasing him, prior to his £1.5m move.

Speaking after the win against the Baggies, manager Alan Pardew said of the player: “We scouted him throughout last year. He was being courted by some big clubs, particularly Porto. But he loved the way we were so determined to bring him to this club.

“Of course, there’s also the fact he would be playing in front of 50,000 Geordies every week at the third best-supported club in the country, or whatever it is we are. It’s a big magnet for any young player. He’s been a great buy for us.”

Continuing on, in reference to Perez’s sublime strike, Pardew added: “That goal was worthy of winning any game. The cross had good pace on it but he had to add a little pace of his own with the flick, which was outstanding.

“He had some great little moments where he manoeuvred the ball too. It’s difficult to play him up front on his own – that was a risk today – but he worked hard and put in a shift for us.”

Thanks largely to the form of Perez in recent matches, Newcastle are now eighth in the league, having sensationally turned their season around, after suffering from an early bad patch, which has season Pardew’s odds to be the next manager to leave drift to a 40/1 price. For Perez, he’ll be hoping to continue his fine form, with cult hero status beckoning.