Perez: ‘Everyone needs some time to adjust’

Date published: Wednesday 22nd February 2017 1:35

Spanish striker Lucas Perez says it took him time to adjust but now he is “really comfortable” at Arsenal.

Perez took his tally for the Gunners to seven with the opening goal in the 2-0 FA Cup fifth-round win at Sutton on Monday night.

The start at Gander Green Lane was, however, just his ninth in all competitions.

Perez’s representative has played down suggestions the forward – signed for £17million from Deportivo La Coruna at the end of August – may consider his long-term future in the summer.

Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger accepts Perez is now very much “pushing on the door” for a regular starting place, with the 28-year-old having settled into London life.

Perez said in an interview with Arsenal Player: “It was still quite a change for me to get used to the English league when I moved here from Spain.

“Players are all different, so some take longer to adapt than others.

“Now I feel really comfortable and I’ve fitted in well to the team – that’s particularly important for a player.”

Arsenal do not play again until March 4 when they head to Liverpool, with the second leg of their Champions League round-of-16 clash against Bayern Munich following three days later. That tie is all but over following the Gunners’ 5-1 humiliation in Germany.

The FA Cup quarter-final against non-league Lincoln is also on the horizon.

Centre-back Laurent Koscielny is expected to resume training following a hamstring injury which forced him off in Munich, while winger Alex Iwobi should also be in contention, despite taking a heavy knock to his foot after being on the end of a hefty challenge from Sutton captain Jamie Collins.

Mohamed Elneny, just back from international duty with Egypt at the African Nations Cup, is to be assessed on an ankle problem picked up on Monday evening.

Midfielder Aaron Ramsey could return to the squad for the Anfield trip, having been out since the home defeat by Watford on January 31 because of a calf problem.

With no match to prepare for this weekend, as scheduled opponents Southampton take on Manchester United in the EFL Cup final at Wembley, Wenger gave some of the squad extra time off.

Mesut Ozil did not feature in the squad at Sutton, with the playmaker having spent some time back in Germany, but he is not anticipated to be a fitness doubt for the Liverpool match.

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