Lucas Perez has moved to clarify the “false information” suggesting he refused to warm up during West Ham’s win at Everton on Sunday.
Television cameras captured the Spanish striker in what appeared to be a heated discussion with a member of the Hammers’ staff shortly after Michail Antonio replaced the injured Marko Arnautovic.
Manager Manuel Pellegrini later dismissed claims of wrongdoing on Perez’s part, claiming he opted for Antonio because of the urgent need for a replacement.
In a post on social media, the former Arsenal forward wrote: “Given the false information spread by the media that has affected my image, I am obliged to explain the only truth: I have never ever refused to warm up in my whole career, let alone play a match.”
Perez explained that, due to West Ham’s normal procedure for preparing substitutes, it was not his turn to be warming up at the time of Arnautovic’s injury.
He said Pellegrini initially called upon him before deciding it was instead quicker to introduce Antonio as the winger was ready to enter.
“The images that have been misinterpreted correspond to a talk with the goalkeeper’s coach, in which I never refused to warm up and explained what happened,” Perez added.
— Lucas Pérez (@LP10oficial) September 17, 2018
“As a professional I accept the decision and I will continue working hard to have as many minutes as I can.”
Perez has made two substitute appearances in the Premier League since signing with the Hammers in August.