Rafa Benitez reveals interest in Newcastle's Ayoze Perez
Rafa Benitez says Ayoze Perez could be a 20-goal-a-season player '“ if he can realise his potential.
The Newcastle United forward has scored in the club’s last three games.
And Perez – who has scored seven goals in all competitions this season – is likely to face Everton at Goodison Park tonight.
The 24-year-old made a timely return to goalscoring form after a barren first half of the campaign.
“I will be fair with everybody at the top ... (Dwight) Gayle, Joselu, Ayoze – everyone that was playing there,” said Benitez.
“The fans expect them to score a lot of goals, but our team is a team that has to work hard as a team defending well.
“We were creating more chances than the other teams in the bottom half of the table, but to defend well to press and play counter-attack for the strikers isn’t easy.
“Joselu was doing a great job and so was Ayoze and Dwight. People have an opinion about the strikers for the number of goals they score, and that’s not fair. “Ayoze has been great for us the last games, as have the other strikers. They’re all helping the team to win.”
Asked about Perez’s consistency, Benitez said: “Obviously, we know he has talent and he has quality, but he has to be more consistent.
“If not, if he was more consistent, maybe he’d be scoring 20 goals a season and he wouldn’t be here. We’d have teams from Spain or England knocking on the door and asking for him.
“At the moment, we have teams asking for him, but still we can enjoy him, because he’s a player who has plenty of room for improvement and he’s working hard and is keen to learn.”