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West Ham sub looks to justify non-appearance

PUBLISHED: 13:30 18 September 2018

West Ham United's Lucas Perez during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

West Ham United's Lucas Perez during the Premier League match at London Stadium.

PA Archive/PA Images

Are we buying Perez excuse for not coming on at Everton?

West Ham new boy Lucas Perez has hardly endeared himself to the fans since his arrival from Arsenal on deadline day last month.

But there was the possibility of his stock dropping even lower after he was accused of refusing to warm up and come on as a substitute following injury to Marko Arnautovic on Sunday.

However, the Spaniard moved quickly to rebut those accusations, insisting that he has ‘never, ever refused to warm up in my whole career, let alone play a match’.

You would have thought the 30-year-old would have been desperate to get on the pitch and prove himself in the lone striker role he so craves.

When ‘Arnie’ went down holding the back of his knee, why the 30-year-old didn’t shoot straight up and start warming up, is something of a mystery.

“In the moment Marko got injured, I was on the bench after warming up,” he said. “The coach called me to go out, but having realised it was faster to put (Michail) Antonio on, he changed his mind.”

Is that a satisfactory excuse? Probably not for a player who needs to make his mark at a new club.

The fans probably preferred to see Antonio go on anyway, but it would seem that Perez will have to do a lot to win over the fans and coach Manuel Pellegrini.

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