Wenger defends new signings debuts. What’s your view?

The Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger has moved to downplay the lacklustre debut of Lucas Perez, whilst claiming both he and Shkodran Mustafi aren’t fully match-fit.

The pair started their first match under the French boss at the weekend, and came away with all three points, but it was far from plain sailing.

Southampton took the lead in the opening 20 minutes of the match, but that lead lasted just over 10 minutes before stand-in skipper Laurent Koscielny could fire home. Despite dominating much of the game from this point, we needed a 94th minutes penalty to secure the three points.

Mustafi looked impressive in the second-half, but his new team-mate Perez was taken off just after the hour-mark for Olivier Giroud, and he didn’t really get into the game.

Wenger claims that neither of them appear to be fully fit, and should both be given time to settle into their new roles, although you could argue that the manager should have known if they were ready to start the game.

When asked whether Perez will score goals this season, the 66 year-old said: “I hope so. I think he got 17 goals last year. In the second half, I think he combined much better.

“It is not easy as well to start at home, the pressure is there for everybody and everybody has their eyes on them.

“You could see that especially with Mustafi, because in the second half he was much more comfortable than in the first.

“Let’s give [Lucas] time. We have scored goals since the start of the season, but we bought one more striker because we thought we needed one more let’s give him time and not judge him too quickly.”

Was there any positives you would take out of Perez’s performance? Could Mustafi be the perfect centre-back pairing for Koscielny?

Pat J

Tags Arsenal Lucas Perez Mustafi


  1. Fatboy Gooney says:

    Who ever is judging Perez on his 60 minutes debut is a muppet! ?
    It even took Henry half a dozen of games before he scored his first goal for the club, infact history has shown us that ‘most’ strikers who scored on their debut end up going on a dry run, after that and end up having a mediocre season.

    Lucas perez will come good soon enough, I just hope that Wenger keeps starting with him.

  2. Ugabooga says:

    He played a very good cross to an open Ozil in the box, he should of buried that.

    1. muda says:

      And he even followed it up to take a shot.
      Trust me, Perez will come good.
      Striker position is all about understanding between the striker and his team mates, you can’t do it in isolation because you have guys marking you. Unlike defender.

  3. Ugabooga says:

    Ox, Theo, Ozil and Sanchez when he came on where just as bad. What is their excuse or are they excused?

    Ox was probably the worst

  4. Arsenal_Girl says:

    People are stupid to judge them from one match

    Fact is some players start off great in their first season like Ibrahimovic, Negredo, Nolito
    But some players need time to gel with the team

    Koscielny wasn’t off to a flying start when he first came here but now he is a World Class defender

    Also don’t expect great things from Perez. Remember he is 28 with only one good season in a foreign league. He may have a fantastic season in the PL or an not so fantastic season.
    Only time will tell

    But PLEASE give Perez, Mustafi and Holding time to prove themselves

    1. Arsenal_Girl says:

      If Perez could repeat what he did last season for Deportivo:
      Goals: 17
      Assists: 10
      That would be awesome

      In addition if Alexis and Giroud have their best season we could certainly win the League

      Giroud had a bad season in the sense that he went 15 PL matches without scoring BUT he still scored 16 goals and 6th place among top scorers, so he is def capable of scoring 20 goals

      I know, big IFs but last season Vardy and Mahrez did it and won the league. We have Ozil who is a key player to help our forwards scoring goals

  5. arsenal_canada says:

    Judging them after one game is stupid. They have only played 1 game prior to this one so obviously not up to speed yet. I think Perez will be great after the first couple games out of the way. Perez to start next weekend please. Giroud in Paris.

  6. Wilshegz says:

    wenger needs to stick some of the faith he wastes on Giroud to Perez.. give him more game time and don’t sub him off when he is just getting in the game. he is our only hope this season.

  7. Onochie says:

    Everybody keeps saying “judging them after one game is stupid” and then I ask,who judged them? Wenger was only asked how he thinks the new boys did,and he said his opinion,he shouldn’t have said that “that not fully fit”,rather he would have said “they are adapting well to our style of play” or something like that. Perez made an assist don’t forget that,so it gives no room for anything related to judging him to come into effect.

    1. Break-on-through says:

      Some do or are judging him after one game. Twitter as usual, I’d say Piers himself is not above this. I seen some tweets calling him the new Franny Jeffers. Some calling him Sanogo, the usual bs from the usual so and so’s.

  8. Break-on-through says:

    I still believe we done some smart business. Xhaka, laka laka yeah. Holding, brilliant catch. Mustafi looks mature and quick. Perez will adapt and play better. We always create plenty of chances, open goal chances, wait til we see what he does when this starts happening. I think he’ll put plenty away. So yeah, I’m still happy. I never thought he was going to be that elite player, just thought that hopefully he will put some of those chances away, which go begging.

  9. khangunners says:

    They will cme gud lets just support them . I think judging perez on a game where our creative players were not on there rhythm is not cul and am sure he will show is what he really is about.
    As for mustafi luks gud but i felt he was over excited to be putting on a jersey je really wanted to impress which made him commit some minor faults but he too given time will prove he is a gud addiction.

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