West Ham United midfielder Jack Wilshere has given his full backing to former Arsenal teammate Lucas Perez to be a hit at London Stadium, after Perez joined the Hammers on Deadline Day.
The Spanish striker became Manuel Pellegrini’s eighth first-team recruit of the summer when it was announced he had made the move to East London a week ago, following in the footsteps of Wilshere by leaving the Emirates Stadium.
Now, the pair are working together on the training ground in Claret & Blue and could find themselves in the same starting Xl as each other when West Ham host AFC Bournemouth on Saturday afternoon.
Here is what the England man had to say about his Spanish comrade in a recent Interview with the club’s official website WHUFC.com:
“He’s calm in front of goal, he can finish, he’s got a personality on the pitch, he’s got character and I’m looking forward to finally getting to play alongside him, you know,” announced the central attacking midfielder.
Wilshere gained his first completive start for his boyhood club on Sunday afternoon, in the Irons’ Premier League opener at Anfield, but things far from went to plan both for the 25-year-old and his new teammates.
He put in an absent display with Pellegrini’s men being trounced 4-0 by Jurgen Klopp’s Reds thanks to goals from Mohamed Salah, Sadio Mane and Daniel Sturridge.
The man who many believe should have been a part of Gareth Southgate’s England World Cup squad this summer received criticism from far and wide for his performance.
One startling statistic showed that the hosts’ world-record goalkeeper Allison, also making his debut, had more touches throughout the 90 minutes than the midfielder.
He will undoubtedly now be relishing the opportunity to silence his critics when he plays in front of the famous Claret & Blue Army for the first time as a West Ham player, having been a fan since he was a child.
Perez, signed too close to kick-off in the north-west at the weekend to be fit enough to make the matchday squad, was given a watching brief for the embarrassing defeat.
However, in terms of the possibility of him making his Hammers debut on the second matchday of the 2018/2019 Premier League campaign, there is a chance.
Pellegrini confirmed to the press in his pre-match press conference at Rush green training ground on Thursday afternoon that Perez could make the substitutes’ bench, along with fellow late arrival Carlos Sanchez.
But, extraordinarily, if Wilshere, a free transfer at the expiry of his Arsenal contract, keeps his place in the starting Xl and Perez plays some part in front of the 50,000+ fans, it will be the first time the pair have ever played in the same match.
This is despite the fact that they, in theory, were both in Gunners colours for two campaign simultaneously, the incredible truth was confirmed by Wilshere later in the same Interview:
“To be honest, I’ve never played a game with him but I trained with him because last season we were both in a similar situation as we’d both been told we could leave [Arsenal].”
“He decided to go to Deportivo (on loan) and I decided to stay and fight for my place, but there was a period of three or four weeks when we were in a group who trained on our own and he has got real quality.”
The untested formula of the playmaker Wilshere and slippery Spanish striker Perez may just be a match made in heaven and the recipe for a crucial pressure-relieving three points for Pellegrini’s men, but for now, the London Stadium faithful will just have to wait and see.