Former Newcastle United star Ayoze Perez has confessed that Brendan Rodgers was the turning point in his decision to sign for Leicester City. The Spaniard was heavily linked with a move away after a fantastic season with the Magpies and had suitors both in the Premier League and Spain.
The 26-year-old was at the peak of his powers last season as he, alongside Salomon Rondon and Rafael Benitez, propelled the Magpies out of the relegation zone and into the mid-table. That saw the club live to survive another season but with Benitez leaving at the end of the year, things changed for a lot of players. Perez was one of those players and the Spaniard admitted that he would leave Newcastle if Benitez didn’t stay.
It saw Leicester City make £30 million move for the Spaniard who has since made a decent impact. While he has been played out of position, Perez has still managed to weigh in with a decent chunk of goals and has been a mainstay defensively. But the move might have never happened if not for Brendan Rodgers and Perez admitted as much. The Spaniard also added that with Spanish sides interested he was looking for a move back but Rodgers changed his mind.
"I flew to London and had a long conversation with him, trying to get to know each other, to speak a little bit. After I walked out of that meeting, I had the feeling that it was going to be the right decision to join Leicester. Brendan is such a great manager. The way he treated me and the way he spoke to me was important in my decision,” Perez told Sky Sports.
"Obviously, Leicester is also building up a great project. It's a great team which is developing. So, in the end, it was an easy decision. If you ask me today if it was the right one, I would say so."
The attacker has been played out of position for most of this season with Rodgers often opting for a 4-1-4-1 formation. That has seen Perez play as a right-winger but the Spaniard has always seen himself as more of a number 9 or 10. Yet that hasn’t stopped him from performing with seven goals and four assists so far which puts him amongst the club’s best players. But Perez admitted that while it’s not his favourite position, he’s doing his best for the team.
"I'm not going to lie, it's not my favourite position, but I just adapt myself to what Brendan wants. Last season at Newcastle, I played on the right wing as well, but more central, like a No 10 on the right-hand side. Now, I am trying to adapt, to make myself comfortable in this position, to try to get into the box as much as I can and have that feeling of scoring goals and creating chances.
“It's been a few months of trying to adapt myself to that position, to that team, but I'm feeling good. The most important thing to me is to be on the pitch and to be able to play as many games as possible. I'm trying my best to be at my best in that position,” he added.
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