Newcastle fell to yet another defeat against Brighton on Saturday, and the performance of Ayoze Perez has left fans absolutely fuming.
Rafael Benitez’s Newcastle are in serious trouble after their defeat to Brighton, as fellow relegation candidates Cardiff picked up three points at home to Fulham.
The Magpies are now bottom of the table with just two points from their first nine games, and there’s no question the lack of goals is the biggest problem.
Summer signing Salomon Rondon has missed the last few games through injury, while Joselu has taken plenty of stick from fans for his poor performances.
Perez might be the most disappointing of the lot though, mainly because he was so good last season.
The Spaniard is clearly a favourite of Benitez’s, and he rewarded the manager’s faith with eight league goals and five assists last season, but he has just one assist so far this year.
The 25-year-old was extremely wasteful against Brighton, infuriating the Toon Army with his wayward passing and poor work ethic.
He was dispossessed three times during the match, the most of any Newcastle player, and also had two unsuccessful touches, second only to Kenedy’s three.
The little Spaniard did actually create some chances for his side with six key passes, but the lack of a clinical goalscorer meant nothing came from any of those chances.
Benitez loves Perez for his off the ball work, creativity and ability to create something out of nothing, but this is simply not the Perez from last season.
The manager must now swallow his pride and axe the 25-year-old, perhaps giving Yoshinori Muto the nod in that number ten position to play behind either Joselu or the returning Rondon.
So, Newcastle fans, were you disappointed with Perez’s performance on Saturday? Who should take his place in the XI? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below…