A Deportivo La Coruña Fan on Lucas Pérez

Posted: August 25, 2016 in Arsenal, Deportivo La Coruna, La Liga
Tags: , ,

Lucas

Lucas Pérez will be announced in the next 24 hours as an Arsenal player. As a Deportivo de la Coruña fan, I thought it right to scribble some musings on Lucas as a player.

You’ll read a lot in the coming days/weeks about Lucas from people who, quite frankly, watched him very little (if at all). I’m going to condense his history as a footballer into one small paragraph, since I assume most readers just want to know what kind of player he is and if he suits Arsenal.

Lucas is a Deportivo fan, born and bred. He used to sit in the stands with the Riazor Blues, now he represents the club (although not for long). He’s spent two phenomenal years at Depor, clinching goals that secured survival in back-to-back seasons. He even broke the club record of goals scored in consecutive games, toppling Brazilian legend Bebeto. Lucas performed against the biggest of clubs (as evidenced with two goals in two games at the Camp Nou), as well as the smallest of them too. To join Depor, Lucas had to travel around Europe first. When he did arrive, it included minimising his wage by triple and leaving a Champions League club (PAOK). The love and adoration he has for the club has also seen him turn down Leicester, Southampton, Napoli, Zenit & Sevilla this summer. But, when Arsenal come knocking, it’s hard to resist. Especially when you’re 27, at the peak of your game and performing at a club far smaller in current stature.

Now, about Lucas as a player. It says a lot that Arsene Wenger swooped in for the Spaniard after being turned down by Jamie Vardy. Stylistically, both are the same type of player: lean forwards with bags of speed and energy, always raring to break the defensive line and find themselves one-on-one. In fact, much like Vardy, Lucas suits the counter-attacking style of football. A style that Arsenal irregularly employ, which may be a sticking point. If Wenger does switch for this sort of style, which could be supported by the fact he’s chased down two identical strikers this summer, Arsenal may just have pulled off a bargain considering the current market. One interesting fact about Lucas is that he can speak English, having used it as a form of communication in Ukraine and Greece while plying his trade there.

“Lucas isn’t a prolific goal scorer” – that’s something you’ll be reading a lot over the coming days, supported of course by baseless statistics that don’t consider the fact that he only started playing as a striker last season. He’s often been an interior or attacking-midfielder, sticking close to the striker on his team. Arsenal have Olivier Giroud, a striker synonymous with performing at his best when he has a player that operates closely with him (Griezmann for France, occasionally Walcott for Arsenal). Lucas offers Wenger that duality in style: he can be the counter-attacking striker that punishes opposition defences or he can be a foil and creator for Giroud.

Lucas amassed eight assists and 17 goals last year. A career high. While that may seem measly in a time where footballers are filling their boots with 40+ goals per season, one has to consider the club. As a Deportivo fan, I have struggled in the last 5-6 years with strikers who end as top scorers for the club with just 7-10 goals. The issue they all have in common is a lack of creator in the side. Strikers are often forced to carve out their own chances here, so that’s a testament to Lucas’ comfortability and quality as a forward. He chases down possession, effortlessly carries the game forward and then applies a slick finishing touch. This, with no creator. Arsenal have Mesut Özil – a player crying out for more goal scorers to support – and the likes of a supporting cast of Santi Cazorla, Aaron Ramsey etc. The list goes on. Lucas had virtually nobody last season, nor the season before that. He was plucking goals out of nothing, such as the one embedded below.

Lucas has also shown that he can bring the best out of players around him. Luis Alberto, for example, had his best season knocking in goals for Sevilla’s B team. At Liverpool & Málaga, he was fairly poor. At Depor, though, we saw the best of Luis Alberto. Why? Because Lucas, when working in tandem with another forward, is a fantastic footballer. And if he strikes this partnership with, say, Alexis or Giroud, then Arsenal fans are likely to be salivating come the end of the summer.

Am I saying he’s perfect for Arsenal? Not really. There are a few caveats. Will Wenger arrange the system around him? That’s one. But the other comes as part of Lucas’ main issue: he takes a few chances before he puts one away. That may frustrate some, but it’s also worth looking at the other side of things: will he score more if he’s less inclined to snap away at the half chances he creates and simply latch onto a perfectly weighted pass instead? Lucas also requires a bit of freedom if his game is to truly prosper. It’s far from clear what his role will be, but he is an upgrade on all of Arsenal’s wingers (bar Alexis) at the very least.

And, just briefly, since I mentioned Alexis, Arsenal fans will love Lucas Pérez for the same reason they love the Chilean. He works extremely hard – and not in an English “he runs about a bit” type. Lucas will bust a lung to revive a loose ball and, once he collects it, he will carry it forward. Unlike Alexis, though, Lucas is less of a dribbler so will look to release possession to a team-mate once he wins the ball back.

Is he perfect? No. And is he the striker Arsenal 100% wanted this summer? No. But I think he could prove to be an exceptional capture if, as aforementioned, the system is arranged to suit his game. He could be the perfect partner for Giroud and Alexis. Stylistically speaking, Wenger has a very versatile player on his hands that could be the key to saving what has been a miserable summer & start to the season.

 

I’d like to wish Lucas the best at Arsenal. Thank you for helping the city of A Coruña dream again; for the goals, the assists, the times you picked the team up from the rubble surrounding it. Thank you for that goal that sparked the revival against Barcelona that kept us up; the goal against Villarreal that also secured our safety the year after. Noraboa, boa sorte. 

My favourite Lucas Pérez moment: he tells Germán Lux that he will save Nolito’s penalty in the derby game, then tells Nolito he’s going to miss. Both things happen, and Lucas celebrates like this: 

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Comments
  1. okoriepriester says:

    Nice post. Hope he plays well for us. Wish you guys a wonderful 2016/2017 La Liga campaign

  2. Very well written article , point to point explanations about the player.Well i hope he succeed for us same way as he did for you last season & good luck to you for the season in La Liga.

  3. Max says:

    Absolute legend of a post. A big thanks from a Arsenal Fan!

  4. Emmanuel Eboue says:

    This is really well written and very informative about a player I’m sure most Gooners won’t have known much about. Consider Depor my second team after the Gunners this season!

  5. Gunner says:

    How is his hold-up play? I see that you mentioned him being a counter-attacking player so it doesn’t like it’s one of his strengths.

  6. Sajak Upadhyaya says:

    Really nice read !! Wish you guys have a wonderful season and replace his adequately.

  7. N16afc says:

    Welcome Lucas. He looks exciting! Hopefully that’ll keep the whinges quiet for now 🙂

  8. bobbyp5555 says:

    I enjoyed that. Very insightful. Thanks.

  9. […] For more on him, here’s a nice piece from a Deportivo fan. […]

  10. Dennis1986 says:

    Great read and hope he does well at the Grove. All the best to Depor in La Liga too… 🙂

  11. Chapman says:

    Thanks for these notes. All the best for the season

  12. Noferatentavili says:

    Great post, cheers, mate.

  13. Pop España says:

    Great post, muchas gracias. I’m looking forward to Lucas joining the Gunners, I think he’s just what we need, and from what you’ve said, we’ll be very lucky to have him. Good luck to Deportivo for the new season!

  14. cricketgoalie says:

    Brilliant

  15. Samrat says:

    Hi, I am an Arsenal fan and I must admit I have never followed Deportivo a lot let alone Lucas. Thank you for this article, it is very insightful into a player a lot of people (including me) would dismiss as an unknown commodity.

    After reading your views, I am excited to learn that we have another hard working player like Alexis in our team (if the deal is confirmed).

    Please do follow Our games this season as I will try to see more of Deportivo matches. I hope for Lucas to have a good season alongside his new team mates.

    Cheers!
    @samchez7 (twitter)

  16. samrat21 says:

    Hi, I am an Arsenal fan and I must admit I have never followed Deportivo a lot let alone Lucas. Thank you for this article, it is very insightful into a player a lot of people (including me) would dismiss as an unknown commodity.

    After reading your views, I am excited to learn that we have another hard working player like Alexis in our team (if the deal is confirmed).

    Please do follow Our games this season as I will try to see more of Deportivo matches. I hope for Lucas to have a good season alongside his new team mates.

  17. Pininho says:

    Cracking article – nicely done good man. Just what everyone wanted to know.

  18. Stannis the one true king says:

    Good luck this year Deportivo!

  19. rohithjyo says:

    Thanks and very well written.

    – Arsenal Fan.

  20. TiTTi says:

    Tack= thanks in swedish😋, very insightful and very informative about the player .

  21. Abduswamadu says:

    It’s not yet until it’s done hope wenger signs him.

  22. Walter Waweru says:

    Great post….Wish you guys a good season and Thak You!

  23. Ian Dorren says:

    Nice article. Good luck for the season.

  24. Jedth Phornnarit says:

    thanks – sorry you’re losing him – hoping he’ll be brilliant for us(arsenal) great post nicely written
    best of luck for the new season

  25. Wallace Ngugi says:

    Very nice piece,only time will tell how the epl treats him,,👌👍

  26. Mike says:

    You should be a journalist. This beats the garbage out of The Guardian any day.

  27. Clivone says:

    I do have a good feeling about Lucas. We need someone who can convert the Ozils assists. someone who is a fighter and I think Lucas could be that someone

  28. pq says:

    Really good read, well done.

  29. pq says:

    Really good read, well done!

  30. Clinton says:

    Awesome Read thanks! From our little Arsenal group here in South Africa ! Gabz, Ravi , Marcel & myself Clinton.

  31. Holloway gooner says:

    Great post!. Very informative from a fan who obviously knows his football and loves his club. Good luck with your season. Dan

  32. Filip says:

    Hey man, thanks for the knowledge. Lucas appears like a player with tons of heart and often, that’s all you need (and a Mesut through-ball). Good luck this season in La L…

  33. Yemi says:

    Awesome read.
    Obviously a cultured fan.
    A knowledgeable one too.
    I am going to be rooting for Deportivo in La Liga now.

  34. mick says:

    Excellent article – so happy to read of his lung busting style – much more of this please! Thanks for your great insight and very gracious in the circumstances. Wishing Depor every success this season. Cheers, Mick

  35. Steve says:

    Thanks for taking the time to put down your thoughts. You can be sure your insights will be much better than many of the so called ‘experts’ over the coming days.

  36. […] reading of the dayA Deportivo fan with real insight on Lucas PerezRichard Jolly on the nadir of Samir NasriDaniel Taylor interviews Luke […]

  37. sam says:

    Really nice post detailed explanation about the player we are getting hopefully he will be an integral part of Aw this season

  38. okochi okhuoya says:

    thumbs up to you bro.I can’t wait to see him.

  39. […] A Deportivo La Coruña Fan on Lucas Pérez […]

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