Arsenal legend Martin Keown has backed Lucas Perez to get the best out of Mesut Ozil, hinting that Olivier Giroud has failed to do so.
One factor that Perez will bring to the team is his abundance of pace and ability to make a number of overlapping runs, something that does not suit Giroud’s style nor is it something that he is capable of.
‘I’m very intrigued to see how the signing of Perez affects Wenger’s tactics up front. One thing I’ve noticed recently, having seen him on the touchlines, is that he likes his strikers to make runs beyond opposition defenders,’ the one-time defender told the Daily Mail.
‘He is very loyal to Olivier Giroud, but also recognises that if you have lots of passers of the ball in your side you need to give them time and options by stretching the play.
‘Imagine how many assists Mesut Ozil would have if he had the likes of Marc Overmars and Nicolas Anelka to aim for.
‘Perez seems like a Jamie Vardy-style player, so his ability to run in behind defences could be exactly what Wenger is looking for.’
Giroud is not a popular player for either Arsenal or France, despite his impressive goal scoring record.
His inconsistency on the pitch coupled by his inability to convert numerous wonderful chances has irritated the Gunners faithful, who have long called for Wenger to acquire a world class forward for the club.
Perez’s arrival may not have been what Arsenal supporters had wanted at the beginning of the summer, but after a stressful few months they cannot wait for the 27-year-old’s debut against Southampton on Saturday.
Callum Connolly, Pundit Arena.