Newcastle United supporters debate whether £30m Leicester City forward would start under Eddie Howe

Former Newcastle United forward Ayoze Perez is enduring a difficult third season at Leicester City.

The Spaniard has been limited to just three Premier League starts this campaign and has played just a minute of top flight football in 2022.

With Leicester visiting St James's Park this Sunday (2:15pm kick-off), Perez is unlikely to line-up against his former club.

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In 2019, Perez joined The Foxes from Newcastle for £30million and went on to enjoy a moderately successful first season at The King Power.

He netted a hat-trick for Leicester in their famous 9-0 win at Southampton in what were his first goals for the club and ended the campaign with eight goals in 40 appearances in all competitions.

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Last season Perez only scored twice in the league but still helped Leicester to an FA Cup victory, the first major honour of his career.

After joining Newcastle for a nominal fee from Tenerife in 2014, Perez went on to score 48 goals in 195 appearances for the club over five seasons before being sold to Leicester for a sizeable profit.

Ayoze Perez of Newcastle United leaves the pitch with the match ball following his hat-trick during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Southampton FC at St. James Park on April 20, 2019 in Newcastle upon Tyne, United Kingdom. (Photo by Matthew Lewis/Getty Images)

But with Perez currently struggling at Leicester, we posed a hypothetical question to supporters: ‘Would he start in this current Newcastle side?’

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Eddie Howe’s side have been in fine form since the turn of the year but still sit 15th in the table with attacking players like Callum Wilson out and Ryan Fraser a serious doubt for Sunday’s match.

And just as Perez divided opinion when he was on Tyneside, discussion as to whether he would still get into Newcastle’s side has also split fans.

@ThespenceUK said: “He would start in front of the two Brazilians. I felt a lot of the stick he got was because folk thought he was a striker. He was an attacking midfielder at Tenerife.”

Ayoze Perez of Leicester City reacts after a missed chance during the UEFA Europa League group C match between Leicester City and SSC Napoli at The King Power Stadium on September 16, 2021 in Leicester, England. (Photo by Laurence Griffiths/Getty Images)
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But @NixonMark89 responded: “No, the fact we got 30 million (or whatever it was) for him still blows my mind.”

@oinkbaamoo added: “Definitely. Would thrive alongside Wood as he did with Rondon.”

@GHamblin16: “Honestly, he was at his best when he left us, and I think he could be amazing with our current squad and let Joelinton roam the field to attack the ball. However, Murphy is coming into his own right now and Bruno is amazing.”

@Yanited1892: “The past few weeks - no. However, now that Fraser is injured I think he’d probably have a chance on the right wing ahead of Almiron/Murphy.”

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@nizzy80: “Wouldn’t let him start my car never mind a game for the Toon!”

@DanMcMahonF1: “He wouldn't start in any Premier League side at the moment. Hasn't worked out for him at Leicester, but it was Perez's choice to leave #NUFC ultimately.”

A supporter poll voted against Perez hypothetically starting in the current Newcastle side.

Out of 1,279 votes, 28% were in favour of Perez starting while 72% were against.

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Perhaps this is indicative of the team ethos and balance Eddie Howe has built at Newcastle in recent months playing 4-3-3. Perez is neither a midfielder nor an outright striker or winger so he simply wouldn’t fit seamlessly into the system playing in his natural ‘number 10' position.

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Your support is much appreciated. Richard Mennear, Football Clubs Editor