Lucas Perez’s Arsenal departure rumours put to bed by Champions League hattrick

Football moves at a ridiculous speed these days, but even so the rumours that had Lucas Perez on his way out of Arsenal after just a few months were ridiculous in the extreme.

The basis of these were that the striker wasn’t getting in the team and wouldn’t be happy about this – as though a little known player coming from a mid-table La Liga team was expecting to be dropped into the first team ahead of Alexis Sanchez and Olivier Giroud from day one.

Doubtless the Spaniard had ambitions of cracking the first team, but there’s no reason to think he was expecting it to take anything less than a few months to earn his manager’s trust as he settles in.

That’s exactly what the former Deportivo man has been doing, and his hat-trick in the Champions League last night will have gone a long way to convincing Arsene Wenger that there some serious potential to work with.

Three goals against Basel isn’t going to parachute him into the Ballon d’Or shortlist, but it takes the £17m man’s total for the season to 6, an impressive number in a handful of starts. If anything his progression will be ahead of what Wenger would have hoped for, with the versatile and hard-working frontman looking like a great stand-in capable of replacing Olivier Giroud or Alexis Sanchez either out wide or down the middle.

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