Lucas Perez’s move to West Ham United from Arsenal for an undisclosed fee was finally confirmed earlier today, making the Spanish striker the club’s first signing of the first-ever early August transfer Deadline Day.
The eighth Spanish player to make the move to East London in Hammers’ history also becomes Manuel Pellegrini’s eighth incoming of the summer and his first window in charge at London Stadium.
Perez has signed up on a three-year contract after the 29-year-old fell out of favour at the Emirates Stadium, struggling for game time in his first campaign before being loaned out to old club Deportivo La Coruna last season.
But, how does the man who cost Arsene Wenger’s Arsenal the best part of £15 million two years ago compare to the likes of Marko Arnautovic and Javier Hernandez, the two main forwards at London Stadium, well, today, we are going to analyse.
Perez In Profile
First, we are going to take a brief look at his journey to playing in Claret & Blue, his true valuation after his move believed to be in the region of £5 million and some simple statistics from his playing career thus far.
With thanks to our good friends over at Transfermarkt, we can see that Perez isn’t the tallest striker, but he can use this to his advantage, getting in between defenders and using his pace to be a nuisance.
What this graphic also tells us is that, if need be, the Spaniard can adapt into a wide position or even play behind an out-and-out striker, a useful quality to any team in a league as competitive as the Premier League.
Unfortunately, his market value has dropped in recent years and at 29, his best years could be well and truly behind him, although this did allow West Ham to capture for a bargain price.
Using Squawka’s Comparison Matrix, we have compared Perez’s 2017/2018 La Liga season on loan with Deportivo to the aforementioned Arnautovic and Hernandez in the Premier League with the Irons, also last season, and it’s an interesting comparison.
Going up against Pellegrini’s main option up front, Hammer of the Year Arnautovic, Perez, the same age as him, is beaten in all areas, having made exactly the same number of appearances and played more minutes than the Austrian.
Lucas, as he is known on the back of his shirt, scored five fewer goals than his new teammate with five to his ten, that’s half, as well as having 18 fewer shots (45) than Arnautovic (63).
When it comes to shot accuracy and assists, however, the pair are much closer, while Arnautovic still did better, it was only by four per cent, the duo both managed to get over half of their efforts on target.
The area where there is even less to separate them is assists, the former Inter Milan man Arnautovic grabbed six, just one more than Perez’s five and when the forward goes up against Chicharito, he gets some joy.
Despite playing in five more games and a thousand more minutes than him, Perez managed to net the same number of goals in La Liga (5), as the Mexican’s PL total.
Perez emerges victorious in the remaining three statistics, registering five more assists in the league than Hernandez’s none, coupled with 20 more attempts, and as we’ve touched on, a shot accuracy of 61%, to the former Manchester United star’s 54%.
It is clear to see from the analysis we’ve done today that new man Perez isn’t going to go to the top of the Irons’ pecking order this season, and likely be behind both Arnautovic and Hernandez in Pellegrini’s lone-striker system.
However, he has proved that he is a more than worthy back-up to these injury-prone stars and a real bargain for the East Londoners, giving them some much-sought-after squad depth.