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Arsenal summer signing Lucas Perez believes he has what it takes to play for a big club like Arsenal.
The striker completed a £17m move to the Emirates in the final days of the transfer window and he is confident he can be a hit for the club.
The 28-year-old joined Arsenal from Deportivo La Coruna but had previously played for Ukrainian giants Karparty Lviv and Dynamo Kiev.The Spaniard believes his time in Ukraine made him stronger as a player and will help him adapt to life at the Emirates.
“A few of us got the chance to go and play in Ukraine – I went along with two other Spaniards,” Perez told Arsenal Player.
“It was a chance to play in Europe and looked a huge opportunity for us. The three of us weighed it up and decided to go for it. One thing led to another, I spent three years of my life in Ukraine.
“It was really tough because of the distance, the culture, the food and you have to adapt to the climate too. It was very difficult.
“It was a good experience because leaving Spain to go to Ukraine taught me a lot about life. It helped me to figure out what I wanted, to mature and to grow as a person and as a footballer. It really helped me on a personal level, but it wasn’t a great experience. It was very hard – there were some tough times.
“I realised that what I really wanted to do was to go to the Spanish league, the Premier League or another big league and play for a big team like Arsenal. My dream was to play in the Premier League or LaLiga.
“My career has been on an upward curve from the moment I left for Ukraine right up until today. I feel really happy and I want to take advantage of the opportunity I have. I want to prove the kind of player I am here at a big club.”
Playing in Ukraine is a different ball game compared to playing in England as the two countries offer different quality of football and the striker will need to step up his game.
Perez will compete with more quality players in Olivier Giroud and Alexis Sanchez for a spot in Arsenal’s starting xi and it will be interesting to see how he handles the pressure to impress when called upon by the manager.
The Spaniard’s time in Ukraine will help him in adapting to life in the Premier League because it won’t be the first time he is experiencing a different culture.