Ayoze Perez


By Tom Easterby

 

After his first international call-up this week, Newcastle United striker Ayoze Perez is determined to do his country proud.

Perez has joined up with Alberto Celades' Spain Under-21 side ahead of their European Championship qualifiers against Hungary and Austria.

But despite having featured in all three of United's Barclays Premier League games so far this season, the 21-year-old hitman insists the call to represent his country came as something of a shock.

"It's a wonderful moment for me in my personal career," the former Tenerife forward told nufc.co.uk.

"I'm flattered that they've put so much faith in me and I'm very grateful for this.

"I didn't expect it at all, it's a big surprise for me and I will definitely go for it and try my very best to represent the national team as it makes me very proud."

Perez entered the fray as a second-half substitute for Siem de Jong in Saturday's 3-3 draw with Crystal Palace at St. James' Park.

Having gone agonisingly close to a debut goal against Manchester City on the first day of the season, the Magpies' first summer signing knows that, with stiff competition for forward places in the shape of Emmanuel Riviere and the returning Papiss Cisse, he needs to keep making an impact if he is to become a first team regular on Tyneside.

"It was a difficult start against Crystal Palace, no doubt about it," he said.

"We managed to recover but there were a few mistakes that we need to work on and try to turn around the situation and win next time out.

"I'm conscious that I need to train more and train better to give everything that I've got to give to the team and convince the manager that I'm capable of becoming a star.

"I know I need to keep training and working hard to reach the top of my game."

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