Arsene Wenger “feels sorry” for Lucas Perez

The 28-year-old enjoyed a fantastic season with Deportivo La Coruna last campaign, starring in a side which just about escaped relegation from La Liga.

It prompted Wenger to bring in the left-footed forward in the summer to bolster his options, but Perez has been hampered by injuries this season and that as a result has hampered his chances of regular minutes.

The former Rayo Vallecano player recently revealed his frustration at being left on the sidelines throughout large parts of the season and even hinted at a move back to Spain.

With just two league starts all season, Wenger admits he can sympathise with the forward, but still believes there is a future for Perez in the capital.

“He’s a top-quality striker and I couldn’t give him the games that he wants and that he deserves, I must confess that,” Wenger told the club’s

“I feel sorry for him on that front, but we have more strikers available now because we had the situation where [Olivier] Giroud was not clear at the start of the season, we didn’t know when [Danny] Welbeck would come back, and in the end there was a congestion there. Don’t take anything away from his quality.

“If I’m the manager, I would love to keep him [next season]. We have to sit down together and see if he has a reasonable chance to play next season or not.”

Perez has managed just one league goal in 11 appearances this season, but he did net a hat-trick in the Champions League win over Basel late last year.



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