Lucas Perez Responds To Claims He Refused To Warm Up
Lucas Perez was the centre of attention during West Ham's first win of the season and not for the right reasons. The forward has responded to speculation that he refused to warm up against Everton.
West Ham haven't exactly had the start to their season that they would have expected. After a summer of big transfers and bringing in Manuel Pellegrini as their new manager they were expected to improve and make a bit of an impact.
However things started badly and they lost their opening four games of the Premier League season, with an EFL Cup win over AFC Wimbledon the only saving grace to the beginning of the season.
Just as the Hammers were threatening to be this season's Everton they faced the Toffees at the weekend and produced an excellent display to earn themselves a 3-1 win.
The big talking point though wasn't Marko Arnautovic performance or the two goals by Andriy Yarmolenko on his first start but instead unused substitute Lucas Perez. The former Arsenal forward looked disgruntled on the bench and there were reports he refused to warm up.
Now he's released a statement denying the claims, saying:
"Given the false information spread by the media that has affected my image, I am obliged to explain the only truth: I have never ever refused to warm up in my whole career, let alone play a match.
"In my current club the players on the bench warm up in a series of 3 to 5 minutes, in continuous rotation.
"In the moment that Marko got injured, I was on the bench after warming up.
"The coach called me to go out to play, however having realised that it was faster to substitute Antonio in, who at that moment was warming up he changed his decision.
"The images that have been misinterpreted correspond to a talk with the goalkeeper's coach, in which I never refused to warm up and explained what happened.
"As a professional I accept the decision and I will continue working hard to have as many minutes as I can."
Speaking after the match the manager backed up the claims of his £4 million summer signing saying, "When Marko was injured, I called Lucas because he was doing a warm-up.
"But then I saw he was sat on the bench and Antonio was working and ready, that's why I brought him on instead, rather than waiting for Lucas to warm up again."
It looks like this won't be an issue going forward for Perez, Pellegrini and West Ham, which will be a relief to everyone involved.