Gunners legend praises Lucas Perez after EFL Cup performance

Former Arsenal striker Alan Smith believes Lucas Perez is a invaluable extra attacking option, after the Spanaird scored his first goals for the club against Nottingham Forest on Tuesday night in the EFL Cup.

A penalty and a solo goal capped off a successful 90 minutes for the striker, who was making his second start in the club's colours. 

Opportunity grasped

Lucas’ first start came after the international break in the 2-1 victory at the Emirates over Southampton, but last night, with Olivier Giroud missing through injury and Alexis Sanchez rested, he made his first real impression. 

Smith believes that although the forward is a late developer, he’s "a contrast to what Arsenal had already and that’s what they needed." 

Gunners legend Smith, who scored 115 goals in 264 apperances during his spell at the club, was impressed with Lucas’ postioning on Tuesday night, saying to Sky Sports that "it was good to see him causing damage through the middle", compared to his debut, where "he was drifting into the harmless areas".

Smith also thinks that Lucas has other impressive qualities as well as his postioning, saying "he’s a strong boy, you saw that with the solo goal he scored". The Sky pundit also believes that coupled with his strength, the Spaniard’s pace means that he won’t be bullied playing in English football.

Praise from the Boss

Lucas also recieved plaudits from his manager after his League Cup performance, as well as some constructive criticism. Arsene Wenger said that "he used his left foot well - a bit too much in my taste." 

The Boss was also please, like Alan Smith, with his solo goal, because "he showed not only technique but determination and fight"

He then praised the striker’s assist for Alex Oxlade Chamberlain’s goal in added time as intelligent play, because he showed "his awareness of other people".  

Lucas' performance could put him in line for a start against Chelsea on Saturday evening. Photo: Getty Images: Shaun Botterill
Lucas' performance could put him in line for a start against Chelsea on Saturday evening. Photo: Getty Images / Shaun Botterill