Arsenal have completed the £17.1million signing of striker Lucas Perez from Deportivo La Coruna, with Shkodran Mustafi set to follow.
The 27-year-old enjoyed a prolific season in La Liga in 2015/16 where he scored 19 goals in all competitions, including 17 in the league. This included a spell when he scored seven goals in seven successive games, matching the record of former Brazilian striker Bebeto. He also scored in the opening game of this La Liga campaign, against Eibar.
Lucas began his career in Spain with Atletico Madrid C and then Rayo Vallecano. Spells with Karpaty Lviv in Ukraine and PAOK in Greece followed, before he returned to his home region of Galicia with Deportivo La Coruna in 2014.
Gunners boss Arsene Wenger told the club’s official website: “He’s not only a goalscorer, he’s a guy who combines well with partners, who can give a final ball and makes good runs. He’s got a good eye for goal and had an outstanding season last year.”
Lucas becomes Wenger’s third summer signing – after midfielder Granit Xhaka from Borussia Monchengladbach and Rob Holding from Bolton – but more could follow, taking the Gunners’ spending close to £100million.
Valencia’s Germany defender Shkodran Mustafi is a summer-long target and a £30m deal is reportedly close.
Speaking last Friday, Wenger denied Lucas was a panic buy, but welcomed comparisons with Jamie Vardy, the Leicester striker the Frenchman tried and failed to lure to the Emirates Stadium earlier in the summer.
“He is a late developer, he played in a different position,” Wenger said last Friday.
“He moved centrally in a successful way. I think he has good link up qualities, good finishing qualities. Let’s see if we can finish the job.”
When comparisons to Vardy were mentioned, Wenger said: “Yes, I like that one.”