Ayoze Pérez
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Ayoze Pérez

Spanish attacker Ayoze Pérez joined the Foxes from Newcastle United in July 2019...
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Full Name
Ayoze Pérez
Nationality
Spain
Date of Birth
29 July 1993
Height
5'10" (178cm)
Weight
11st 5lbs (72kg)
Professional Debut
18 August 2013
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Born in Santa Cruz, Tenerife, Ayoze Pérez’s exceptional technical ability and restless tenacity at a young age pathed a route to the Premier League.

Eager to impress and full of promise, a teenage Pérez, surrounded by a passionate football family, began his emergence at hometown side Club Deportivo Tenerife.

The Spanish system provided the prospective forward with a chance to develop his talent for Tenerife’s B side against professional opposition in the fourth and third tiers.

He netted 11 goals in 35 appearances over the course of two seasons in the Tercera División before he was rewarded with a Chicharreros first team outing in August 2013.

Pérez, 19, started for Tenerife in a 1-0 defeat by AD Alcorcón in the Segunda División, also known as La Liga 2, and he later scored against Real Madrid Castilla side, too.

A scintillating hat-trick during a 5-0 rout of Ponferradina, meanwhile, catapulted Pérez into the spotlight as he received the Player of the Month award in March 2014.

It was a title which he would retain in April before also earning both of the Segunda División's 2013/14 Breakthrough Player and Best Attacking Midfielder of the Year prizes. 

His excellent individual form was also a factor behind Tenerife’s promotion to the second tier of Spanish football that season.

The following campaign, now playing at a higher level, Pérez scored an impressive 16 times in just 34 games, alerting a host of clubs across Europe to his potential.

Accompanied by brother Samuel, who joined Blyth Spartans and now represents Alnwick Town, Ayoze moved to England in 2014, joining Alan Pardew’s Newcastle United.

María José Pérez, Ayoze’s cousin, is also a forward for Levante UD Femenino and also represents the Spanish women's national team.

Pérez’s move to St James’ Park was a significant moment in the Spaniard’s fledgling career as he overlooked offers from elsewhere and fully embraced English football. 

It was reported at the time that he had rejected offers from academies at Real Madrid, Barcelona and Porto in favour of first team football on Tyneside. 

That platform allowed Pérez to register his first Premier League goal – a well-placed header – in a 2-1 victory over Tottenham Hotspur at White Hart Lane in October 2014. 

Just six days later, he repeated the feat in a 1-0 victory over Brendan Rodgers’ Liverpool with a close-range finish as the Magpies sealed a fourth consecutive top-flight win. 

The following month, meanwhile, Ayoze made it three league goals in as many outings in a 2–0 away win against West Bromwich Albion at The Hawthorns. 

However, the North East club struggled over the festive period and Pardew was replaced by John Carver, who was able to stave off relegation despite a sharp downturn in form. 

Pérez's maiden Newcastle season ended with him netting seven times in 36 appearances as they finished 15th in the Premier League. 

Following an admirable debut campaign in the Premier League, Ayoze also starred for Spain’s Under-21s squad in 2015 UEFA European Championship qualification.

The Spaniards won their group with seven triumphs and draw from their eight fixtures. While Newcastle were to endure another disappointing campaign, Pérez’s stock continued to grow.

Newcastle were relegated in 2016, but Pérez remained on Tyneside, recording 12 goals in the progress as the Magpies returned to the Premier League at the first attempt a year later.

The Tenerife-born striker has been a regular presence for Newcastle ever since, reaching double figures in successive top-flight campaigns under the management of Rafa Benítez.

His 10 goals over the 2017/18 season were invaluable for the Magpies to preserve their Premier League status, while another 12 followed last season – his best tally in Newcastle.

During his spell at St. James’ Park, Pérez fully immersed himself in daily life in the city, volunteering to become an ambassador for the Newcastle United Foundation.

He was also a constant menace for Leicester, scoring twice for the Toon at King Power Stadium across the past two Premier League seasons.

Pérez joined the Foxes in July 2019, and scored his first goals for the Club - a sensational hat-trick - in City's historic 9-0 victory at Southampton in October 2019.

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