AYOZE Perez will be back in the firing line at Goodison Park – tasked with filling Papiss Demba Cisse’s boots.
Perez has been left out of the starting XI for the club’s last two games.
He was thrown in at the deep end, and he dealt with it. I could see him starting to look a little bit jaded, which is one of the reasons he was taken out of the firing line.John Carver
But the 21-year-old, signed from Tenerife last summer, will be pitched in against Everton with leading scorer Cisse suspended.
United head coach John Carver – who felt the demands of English football had taken its toll on Perez – believes the rest will have done Perez good.
“He’s got five goals – just behind Papiss,” said Carver.
“I took him out of the firing line, and I was right to do so. Whether he is ready for it at the moment, only time will tell, but we’ll find out on Sunday. It has helped him having a bit of a break.
“There was an awful lot of pressure on this young lad coming from Tenerife and being thrown into our cauldron, as we all know it is.
“But I thought he dealt with it well, and it’s part of my job to deal with him and one of the other young players – (like) Adam Armstrong – to make sure they don’t disappear into the wilderness.”
Perez was signed as one for the future, but he was pitched in early in the season – and took his chance with both hands.
“When we signed him, we thought he would have a full season in the Under-21 team developing,” said Carver.
“He was thrown in at the deep end, and he dealt with it. I could see him starting to look a little bit jaded, which is one of the reasons he was taken out of the firing line.
“We’ve seen it, even with senior, experienced players coming from another country, how difficult it is for them to adapt physically.
“I’m seeing that with one or two Arsenal players, for example – world-class players who are now finding the physical demands a bit tough.”
Perez was this week named Tenerife’s sportsman of the year.
Meanwhile, former Chelsea striker Romelu Lukaku – who scored twice against Newcastle at Goodison Park last season – is likely to lead the line for Everton.
“Lukaku is a threat – he’s a big strong lad,” said Carver.
“He wasn’t cheap – he didn’t cost two balloons and a goldfish.
“He did a fantastic job at West Brom, and we’ve got to make sure we contain that threat.”