Alan Pardew nets Spanish striker Ayoze Perez for Newcastle
Newcastle United, 8/1 shots with Coral to be relegated next season, have made their first summer signing in Spanish striker Ayoze Perez, a reported long-term target for Alan Pardew.
The 20-year-old, who joins from second-tier team Tenerife, scored 16 goals in 34 games this term. Perez arrives at St James’ Park on a long-term contract.
“I’m very happy to be here to start this new adventure,” Perez told the Newcastle official website. “Any football player would be interested in playing for such a club and I will earn my position to get in the first-team.”
Pardew has lost long-serving target man Shola Ameobi as the Magpies decided to release him, while loan strikers Loic Remy and Luuk de Jong are unlikely to join Newcastle permanently.
Dutch frontman De Jong, whose brother Siem has also been linked in the British tabloids with joining the Tyneside team from Ajax, flopped badly during a short stint under Pardew. He is set to return to Bundesliga side Borussia Monchengladbach.
France forward Remy, meanwhile, was more successful, but is now a reported target for title-challenging Premier League outfits like Arsenal (10/1), and his parent club QPR have been promoted back into the top-flight. Papiss Cisse thus remains the only senior striker on Newcastle’s books, but is sidelined through injury.
Toon Army members will remember two other Spanish attackers from the not too distant past that failed to make the grade. Albert Luque and Xisco are among the most infamous players to have turned out for Newcastle in the modern era.
Magpies manager Pardew must hope the purchase of Perez has a more positive impact than those compatriots had on previous regimes. Not every Spaniard has flopped on Tyneside, however, with left back Jose Enrique helping Newcastle to earn immediate promotion back into the Premier League, under Chris Hughton, before being sold to Liverpool.
Coral make the Toon 50/1 outsiders to crash the Premier League’s top four in 2014/15.