In celebration of Black Friday, online betting company Bwin released a list of the best value players in the Premier League, and Ayoze Perez has ranked surprisingly high.
The report aimed to find which players have been the greatest value for money at Premier League clubs, looking only at players transferred in the past five seasons.
And many Newcastle fans will be shocked to learn that Perez has been chosen as the second best value striker in the entire league.
The Magpies paid just £1.6 million to Tenerife for the Spaniard in 2014, a pittance in today’s market.
He’s since hit 22 Premier League goals for the Magpies, but he continues to divide Newcastle fans opinions.
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Supporters are often critical of his performances and regularly question his place in the starting lineup.
Has Perez really been such a bargain?
The table reads as follows:
BEST VALUE GOALSCORERS (cost per goal/assist):
1. Joshua King (Bournemouth) – £141,028
2.Ayoze Perez (Newcastle) – £413,407
3.Shinji Okazaki (Leicester) – £988,429
4.Shane Long (Southampton) – £1,204,963
5.Roberto Firmino (Liverpool) – £1,251,363
Bwin have not revealed exactly how they have come up with these figures, but they don’t seem to be as simple as just comparing the player transfer fee with their goals and assists.
But even if you were to work it out that way, Perez would likely still be towards the top of the pile.
His transfer fee was so small that his combined 30 Premier League goals and assists make his cost per goal/assist around £53,333.
It’s unlikely many other strikers over the past few seasons can boast that kind of cost effectiveness.
Fans aren’t wrong to be frustrated with Perez’s ability at times, but the forward has undeniably been effective in front of goal.
Players like Emmanuel Riviere have been signed for millions of pounds more by Newcastle and not had the same effect.
The same is also true of current strikers at other Premier League clubs.
Perez is worth ten times less than most Premier League strikers, yet last season he scored more goals than Olivier Giroud, Charlie Austin, Marcus Rashford and Richarlison to name a few.
Should fans be less critical of Perez?
In his last three Premier League seasons, Perez has scored seven, six and eight goals.
To put that into perspective, Salomon Rondon managed just three more goals in his last three seasons despite costing West Brom a club-record £12 million.
Realistically, fans should expect nothing from Perez. His poor performances this season have in fact been much more in keeping with a £1.6m player.
They may long for a significantly better replacement, but it would be costly.
In today’s market, many Premier League teams buy back-up strikers for as much as £10 million. It’s uncertain if a player worth that much would be as effective.
An example of this is £9.5m Yoshinori Muto. He hasn’t quite had the chance to prove himself yet, but will he realistically score more goals than Perez this season?
But despite his goals, Newcastle supporters frustrations with the Spaniard are more than founded.
Perez was the Toon’s top scorer last year in all competitions with just 10 goals. That is a severe lack of firepower and it’s no wonder Newcastle have flirted with relegation again.
He may be good value for money, but that may not be enough to keep Newcastle in the league.
Supporters should certainly be less critical of the striker, but they’re not wrong to wish for a more potent forward.