Ayoze Perez says he wants to stay at St James’s Park – and help Newcastle United “grow”.
Perez’s goals helped the club stay in the Premier League.
I’m always trying to get better, and, every time I step out at St James’s Park, I want to do well and score goals. This is my feeling, and that’s important. I want to be here and help this club to grow.”Ayoze Perez
The forward ended the season as the club’s top league goalscorer with eight strikes. Six of those goals came in the final month and a half of the season as United pulled away from the relegation zone.
Perez has frequently been linked with moves away from Newcastle since arriving on Tyneside as an unknown four years ago.
However, the 24-year-old says he’s settled at the club, which finished the season in 10th place after a 3-0 win over Chelsea on the final day of the season.
“I’m really happy at Newcastle,” said Perez.
“I’m always trying to get better, and, every time I step out at St James’s Park, I want to do well and score goals.
“This is my feeling, and that’s important. I want to be here and help this club to grow.”
Perez’s previous best goal tally in the Premier League was seven in the 2014-15 seasson, when he was used as a lone striker by then-manager Alan Pardew.
Fielded as a No 10 by manager Rafa Benitez, Perez came into his own in the second half of the campaign.
“For sure, this is my (most) memorable season at the club,” said Perez, under contract at St James’s Park until 2021.
“Our final position of 10th, the number of goals I have scored, the performance of the team during the whole season – overall, it’s been a great season for the team and me personally.
“I cannot ask for any more, and I’m so happy going into the summer.”
Benitez spoke about Perez’s importance last month.
“Sometimes he can give the ball away, and he has to be more composed, but he’s working so hard and he’s gives us so many options,” said Benitez. “If he can score these kind of goals, much better for the team.”
Meanwhile, Newcastle captain Jamaal Lascelles has been named as the club’s official player of the year for the 2017-18 season.