Lucas Perez has attempted to explain why he was demoted to the bench despite scoring a memorable hat-trick against Basel back in December.

The 28-year-old left Deprotivo La Coruna to join Arsenal in a £17 million deal during the final week of the summer transfer window.

However, Perez has rarely featured for the Gunners even though he has been in impressive form on the few occasions Arsene Wenger has called upon him.

The striker’s career at the Emirates stadium was expected to receive a big lift after he scored three times in the 4-1 win against Basel in the Champions League.

But Perez insists he was overlooked by the boss simply because of the availability of several goalscorers in the squad who are ‘very good’.

“Arsenal are a big club and the competition for places is strong. Everyone wants to play and that is normal.” the former La Liga star was quoted a saying

“Today [Monday night at Sutton] I am happy because I played and scored a goal but now I need to continue like this to convince the boss to trust me more.

“After I scored a hat-trick in the Champions League against Basel the boss didn’t count on me, but that means some team-mates are very good.

“The team has now had a losing streak of three or four games so I have to wait for my moment and make the most of the opportunity when it arrives.”

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