Ayoze Perez’s cumbersome display at Goodison Park last night served as a reminder to Newcastle supporters that his recent goalscoring form was but an uncharacteristic purple patch, and nothing more.
The Spaniard had been enjoying a wonderful spell in the team, with everything he touched seemingly turning to gold as he netted three goals in his last three appearances. Such were his positive displays that the burden of pressure shouldered by the incoming Islam Slimani had been eased, while calls for a proven goalscorer had quietened somewhat.
His performance at Goodison Park was miserable though, with his formerly sky-high confidence ebbing away as the game progressed. An overhit pass to Slimani in the first half proved costly, as did his reluctance to take on a first-time left-foot volley in the second half when provided with a fraction of space inside the box.
Perez is a decent player, and has more than paid back the £1.5 million spent on his purchase four years ago. However, the former Tenerife star isn’t prolific in the slightest – as 27 goals in 137 league games would testify.
He may have been enjoying a nice spurt of form, with the looping strike over Kasper Schmeichel a highlight of the season, but the Magpies will need to invest in a more clinical forward if they are to make strides of any significance next season.