Interviews

Q&A WITH LUCAS P…REZ

10 Nov 2016
Lucas Pťrez is in A CoruŮa on these days recovering from an injury. The Arsenal striker is training at Abegondo and conceded an interview to La Voz de Galicia to talk about his adventure in London and of Deportivo.

Q: What's left of London and Arsenal?
A: I'm happy with the jump that Arsenal allowed me to make, I donít regret anything. I have left my house, the team where I always wanted to play, but itís a step up, a step at the highest level... the Champions League, the feeling of the Premier League, the day by day there at the sporting city with the partners... Itís the highest level of football and itís what every player aspires to be able to reach. I have fulfilled a dream.

Q: The fan is missing both, your character and your goals.
A: It's logical that people want Deportivo higher up, but we have to give time. There are many new players. I said it from the first day I arrived: we need peace, because we are many new. Now there is also economic stability, I am told that the debt is shorter, that the capital increase is very good and that it helps. I donít know what Deportivo has planned for the winter market or next summer, I think it will be able to enter with more strength to bring more players, but right now itís a club where players want to come, because I am asked by others players: ďAnd what about Depor?Ē Well Depor itís a marvel right now, I have enjoyed not only as a Galician but as a professional. Itís wonderful the treatment by the board, with the coaching staff, with the medical staff... I encourage people to come here, really, and Deportivo will continue to grow.

Q: Has the comparisons taken its toll on Andone?
A: But in football you cannot compare. Andone comes from Segunda, itís an opportunity for him to be at Primera. We are not of the same characteristics. He has just scored a goal and I'm happy for him, but heís not alone. If last year I donít have FayÁal, Luis Alberto, Mosquera, Cani or Fede Cartabia then I wouldnít have scored 17 goals. He has to lean from his teammates, this is a team, and the casualty of Joselu shows this. Joselu is a great player and now we donít have to think that he will come to save us, but not because he isnít worthy, itís that he has been injured for two months and he needs encouragement and support.

Q: Is Garitano the right coach?
A: All the Deportivoís coaches have faced problems. None had it easy. When you donít win then itís logical to speak. During the month I was with him, he seems like a coach with clear ideas and knowing what he wants.

Q: Did you feel that your stage here was too short?
A: I still feel like at Depor. A part of me has stayed here, because I have lived many emotions and good things. For me Deportivo is my life and where I want to live the rest of my life for the people, for how they have trusted me when I was nobody, for how they have bet for me, they have given me the opportunity and itís something that Iím going to take for the rest of my life. Like Rayo or PAOK, I will always be grateful. And I like Arsenal because itís the highest level of football, you play with the best and you face the best. Itís not that the stage at Deportivo was too short, because I have spent two wonderful years here. Saving the moments of joy, as there is sadness for the injuries, but those of joy are very good. Now the partners have given me the opportunity to come here and recover during these days, Arsenal allows me to do it, because they want to help me. I am very fond of Deportivo and I will always be part of Deportivo because I feel that way.

Q: What is your best memory?
A: The Camp Nou, not my goal, but the emotions. What we lived later in CoruŮa, how the people reacted. My debut, with the goal of rage as I didnít feel recovered, I still keep that photo. And you see the trophies of this summer, the affection of the people... the decision to leave was difficult for that. I still remember when the kids on campus shouted at me to stay. I am a person of emotions and feelings.

Q: Didnít you want them to think of another Rivaldo case?
A: What I think is that people are hurt, that it hurts to see me leaving, not that they have that feeling. In day-to-day, I swear by my grandparents, who are the people of this world that has loved me the most, with whom I have grown up, no one in the street has told me a bad word. No one. Older people, at their 60ís, have taught me the way, I am the socio number 500, thanks for everything, I am at Arsenal already. In the street, day by day, what I hear is thanks for coming, thank you for doing what you have done.

Q: Why the penultimate day?
A: There were clubs that wanted me and I had to go to the one who gave me the most. And Arsenal gave it. Because the club didnít want me to leave, but not only facing the public, but inside the changing room and talking to me. With wise people, noble and honest, there will never be any problems. I feel like been of Deportivo. The president congratulated me on the day of my debut and wrote to me when I was injured: "You're going to recover because you're the best."

Q: Can we have this panorama in a month: Depor still sunk, Arsenal sign another forward and Lucas returns?
A: No need to think about that. Depor are going to come back. Lucas now has his adventure at Arsenal, where he is very happy, where he wants to succeed. Because I want to succeed, as I came here and I wanted to be the best and now I have that same ambition. If things go wrong, then you have to keep fighting. Deportivo have great players and you have to be positive. I have always been positive. Did we have to go to add points at the Camp Nou? Let's do it and the Deportivo will go up. If things donít come out at Arsenal or Deportivo, there will be time to mourn, but you have to put everything on your side. I see my colleagues and I encourage them. We were there and in worse situations.

Q: What's the worst thing about London?
A: The club is a ten, the fans, the stadium, the sporting city, the treatment. I thought things were going to be tougher, but the Spaniards live more or less close to each other and I went with Cazorla the first days to train. The wider streets are worse for detours, because you also do them for the left and itís what can confuse you the most. And the food is that I am very home-grown, I like to be at home and eat at home. The restaurants I go are the ones recommended by the Spanish. Here I went to the neighbourhood and there I donít know. And in CoruŮa you walk, but in London you go by car, because the distances... or you use Uber or a taxi. There is no such thing as: "I will be there in five minutes." There it is: "I'm there in 50 minutes."

Q: You signed for four years, do you expect to fulfil them?
A: I live day by day, but when I signed itís to stay, not to leave. Moreover, from what they have transmitted to me, they are very happy with me, they trust me, the coach, the board. At first I didnít play what everyone wanted, because everyone wants to play, because they are the best, but before the injury I was playing. You feel important and there you have to seize the opportunity.

Q: Maybe they could sign another striker in December...
A: Well, I donít know, but I'd be surprised, because I was not told that. And even if they sign another, Arsenal has given me a chance and I want to take advantage of it.

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