Arsenal scout called Arsene Wenger's £17m signing a 'mid-table player'

Lucas Perez was branded a ‘mid-table player’ by an Arsenal scout before Arsene Wenger decide to sign him for the Gunners.

Arsenal signed Perez from Deportivo La Coruna in a £17 million deal in 2016.

But the Spanish forward struggled to make an impact and after just one year at the club, he was sent back on loan to Deportivo.

Perez did not make another appearance for Arsenal after that as he was then sold to West Ham for around £4 million in August 2018.

According to The Athletic, Wenger was combining the use of analytics tools with scouting reports to target players during that period.

And Perez was not highly regarded by Arsenal’s top scout Francis Cagiago, who helped bring Cesc Fabregas, Hector Bellerin and Gabriel Martinelli to the club.

The Athletic reports that Perez was closing on a deal to join Everton when Cagiago was asked if he would be a good signing for Arsenal.

But Cagiago is said to have replied, ‘not a chance’ and described Perez as ‘a mid-table player’.

Arsenal’s top target that summer was Jamie Vardy but he turned down a move to Wenger’s side and remained at Leicester City.

The report claims that there was ‘degree of tension’ at Arsenal between the scouting department and the decision to use statistics to identify a potential new signing.

It’s also claimed that Shkodran Mustafi, who also joined Arsenal in the same summer as Perez for around £35 million, was also not on Cagiago’s list of recommended players.

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