Lucas Perez wants more playing time at Arsenal: I've performed to the best of my ability

James Benge
Sidelined: Lucas has rarely been a regular starter for Arsenal: Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Lucas Perez has reaffirmed his desire for more playing time at Arsenal after struggling for regular opportunities since his summer arrival.

The Spanish striker admitted last month that he was disappointed with the few chances he has been given since Arsene Wenger spent £17million on him though his agent has denied reports that he might be considering leaving at the end of the season.

Lucas has provided a consistent goal return on his outings, scoring seven and providing five assists across 19 appearances in all competitions – though in the Premier League he has had just 265 minutes.

“I’ve not really played a lot but when I have, I’ve performed to the best of my ability,” Lucas said in Arsenal’s matchday programme.

“It’s all about the team so when any one individual is selected to play, he has to do his very best. I think if you look at how many minutes I’ve played and what seems proportionate for the team, my stats are pretty good.

“Of course, I’d have liked to spend longer on the pitch but we have a big squad and some great players here at Arsenal.

“Selection is the job of the manager. He does what’s best for the team. Of course, Arsenal has many great players.

“The only thing you can do is work hard and wait for your chance to play. You don’t have a choice. At any moment you can be asked to play, you’re on the pitch and you play as well as you can. That’s football, you just have to be patient.”

Lucas’ regular omissions from Wenger’s starting XIs has been roundly criticised by Arsenal supporters, not least as the likes of Mesut Ozil, Alex Iwobi and Theo Walcott struggle to produce their best form.

It is something that Lucas has noted. He said: “I moved from a team [Deportivo La Coruna] that wasn’t as well-known as some so people probably didn’t know me but from the start everyone has been very respectful and appreciative, for which I’m grateful.

“Obviously Arsenal fans are used to having the best players here, so when they show their affection for you, it makes you feel both grateful and happy.”

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