While Mike Ashley certainly hasn’t done much good at Newcastle United – the numerous fan protests are a testament to that – the one thing he did get spot-on, was his sale of Ayoze Perez.
Having signed him from Tenerife for just £1.5m, there’s no questioning that Newcastle got their money’s worth from Perez.
The Spaniard arrived as a little-known youngster back in the summer of 2014, but then Magpies boss Alan Pardew wasn’t shy in waxing lyrical about his latest recruit.
He said: “We’re delighted to confirm our first signing of the summer and very pleased to have Ayoze at Newcastle United, as a number of other clubs were chasing his signature too.
“He had a terrific season in Spain last year and is a player who we hope to develop further on Tyneside. He’s only 20 but has a very good eye for goal and that’s a great asset for any young player to have.”
Perez ended up playing 195 times for the club, scoring 48 goals and providing a further 17 assists across all competitions. He made his biggest contribution for the club during Rafa Benitez’s stint as manager, making over 100 appearances for his fellow Spaniard.
The former Newcastle boss even said: “Ayoze is a player that is keen to learn and I am telling him all the time it is about staying consistent. He has given us a lot of things. But the main thing for me is he knows that he can improve and he is keen to learn.”
In the end, following Benitez’s departure from the club, Perez also followed suit. The Magpies got some big-money for the forward though, collecting a reported £30m from fellow Premier League side Leicester, thus making them an impressive £28.5m profit.
And since his move to the Foxes, the 28-year-old hasn’t shown much to justify the price tag, playing 79 times and scoring just 11 goals, struggling to break into the side on a consistent basis – not surprising when you consider he has Jamie Vardy in front of him.
In fact, according to CIES, his market value now just stands at a measly £6m – quite the significant drop-off from what the Foxes paid for him to bring him in from St James’ Park.
Given that some Newcastle fans were up in arms over the club selling Perez, it’s now clear to see that the Magpies and Ashley played a blinder by selling him for that much.