Ayoze Perez is something of a divisive character among Newcastle fans, with him often enjoying a love-hate relationship with the Toon Army.
But Spanish radio station Cope claimed yesterday that La Liga side, Valencia, are interested in taking Perez back to Spain, with the player, allegedly, having told his “closest friends” that he is “delighted” at the prospect.
There are no sources included in the article to back up those claims, so it is all mere speculation and conjecture.
It is also worth noting that the quotes attributed to Perez further into the article, where he discusses his future, are from an old interview he gave back in March, and no new revelations are contained in it.
He is a player who can be electric, or anonymous, in games, which leads many fans to continually question his selection by Rafa Benitez.
Fans have often voiced their frustrations at the player, with his withdrawal from a game often being met with cheers from sections of St James’ Park.
But what cannot be questioned, is his ability to produce the goods when needed, and his knack of scoring vital goals in important games has been key to Newcastle’s survival in both of the last two seasons.
The stick he has received has led to his continued fingers-in-the-ears celebration, which has now become something of a trademark for the 25-year-old Tenerife native.
It is also a reminder of how he has been treated in the past, and is why it would not be too much of a surprise if he did decide to leave.
Letting Perez leave could come back to bite Newcastle
On a personal note, I think it would be a mistake to let him go, unless an enormous offer that is too good to turn down is received.
As frustrating as he can be, he has often single-handedly won games for us. His second half performance against Everton last season is a prime example.
And the huge goal he scored at Leicester effectively kept us up and led to those unbelievable celebrations after the final whistle.
Thinking about Perez & speculation about his future. So fustrating at times, but scores vital goals in big games. You just can’t replace that.
I know he divides opinion among #nufc fans, but I wd definitely keep him.
His goal at Leics effectively kept us up & led to these scenes. pic.twitter.com/z149BwYmY7
— Paul Nicholson (@PaulNic_Journo) June 11, 2019
He will, of course, always be a ‘Marmite’ player, that fans will continue to either love or hate, with no in-between, but I think letting him leave, as infuriating as he can be, will come back to haunt us. And remember, you never know what you’ve got until it’s gone.