Ayoze Pérez reunites with the Unión Deportiva ten years after his only match against the island team. He did it with the Tenerife shirt in a match that ended 3-0 at the Heliodoro and in which the now Betis striker scored the final two goals. A decade later, with eight years of experience in England and 89 goals behind him, he threatens the UD defense, the second least beaten in the First Division.
Ten years later the shadow of Ayoze Pérez crosses the path of the Sports Union. On the night of December 4, 2013, hope lasted 22 minutes for the nearly one thousand Las Palmas fans who crossed to the neighboring island, which was how long it took for Suso to enter the yellow area and for Barbosa to knock him down. Penalty that Ricardo León converted and the rest of the game was a chicharrero monologue in which a very young Ayoze unsettled a team led by Lobera with two more goals, this time against Raúl Lizoain.
Now, with the Real Betis shirt, the forward raised in the CD San Andrés youth academy, will be one of the great threats against the defensive structure of the team on Sunday at the Benito Villamarín (8:00 p.m.). Garcia Pimienta. The Álex Suárez, Coconut and Mika Mármol will have to do with one of the stilettos of the squad led by Manuel Pellegrini.
In the 4-2-3-1 system that the Chilean Engineer prefers to use, Ayoze usually occupies the left winger position and alternates with more centered areas, both from the second point and as a reference nine when neither Willian José nor Borja Iglesias are in the play field.
Sunday’s game could become a game of open transitions in which Pimienta hopes that Ayoze does not emulate the Tenerife youth player from a decade ago who killed the opposition against Unión Deportiva along with Suso.
The match chronicle of that unfortunate night at the Heliodoro reflected that “the UD Las Palmas with more carats of the last decade he made a fool of himself in the field of his eternal rival just in the course that was expected with more differences between the two,” as José Mendoza reflected in his chronicle.
And he continued the story with: «The fifth time was the charm. Ayoze, one of the sensations of the category, faced Raúl for the umpteenth time and hit a cross shot. Ten minutes later he did not need to calibrate his aim because Suso, who did not stop bothering and left applauded, put it on a plate for him.
Two blows that, together with Ricardo León’s initial goal from the penalty spot and putting his finger to his mouth to respond to Lobera after declaring in the preview, “if I play like Tenerife in Gran Canaria they would whistle at me,” caused embarrassment for the yellow fan. The same one who this weekend plans to go en masse to the Benito Villamarín and hopes that Ayoze does not remember that night ten years ago.
Because throughout the following decade, the chicharrero emigrated to England to sign for Newcastle in exchange for two million euros and have a career as Magpie (Magpie) in which he scored 48 goals in 195 games and a promotion after a brief spell the Championship.
His poster in the north of England earned him the attention of Leicester and took out the checkbook in 2019. 33.4 million euros for him to become a fox striker alongside Jamie Vardy and leave 15 goals and 12 assists in 114 games .
Leicester’s hesitations and subsequent relegation led Ayoze to Betis, where he signed on a free transfer this summer and where he is returning the trust of the green and white entity with four goals in this league start, in addition to scoring another goal in the Europa League –he has two assists–.
On Sunday, he is expected to line up at the top with a former yellow player, Willian José, who also has a taste for him: seven goals against UD.