Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger has encouraged forward Lucas Perez to make the most of his chance against Reading in the EFL Cup on Tuesday night.
The 28-year-old secured a switch to north London from Deportivo La Coruna in the summer transfer window, but has been limited to just three Premier League appearances so far this season.
Nevertheless, he has impressed in general when featuring, scoring against Nottingham Forest in the last round of the EFL Cup while registering two assists in a brief outing against Ludogorets in the Champions League last week.
Perez is set for another opportunity to impress against Reading this week, and Wenger has put some pressure on him to deliver to ensure that he makes it difficult for him to leave him out moving forward.
“I believe he has the potential to be a great player for us,” Wenger told reporters, as noted by ESPN FC. “In training he continues to show he has the potential to play, he now has to transfer that into the games.
“The more he does that — against Reading he will have an opportunity — the more we will be tempted to say, ‘let’s do it.'”
Perez certainly knows how to find the back of the net having scored 17 goals for Deportivo last season, but this will be a different challenge for him as he looks to adjust to the English game and contend with serious competition for places.
With Olivier Giroud also returning from injury this week, Wenger will have a tougher time on his hands moving forward in terms of selections, but Perez will hope to take his chance against Reading and play a decisive role in Arsenal’s cup run.