Pérez praise for compatriot Fernández
Written by Dan King
Ayoze Pérez has hailed compatriot Víctor Fernández as one for the future after the winger impressed on his first-team debut against Royal Antwerp.
Rafa Benítez took 19-year-old Fernández to United's training base in Spain last week, having also taken a close look at him during the Magpies' pre-season trip to Ireland.
And the manager gave Spanish starlet Fernández 45 minutes against the Belgian side at the Pinatar Arena on Sunday, with the teenager catching the eye on the right hand side.
Fernández joined Newcastle from UE Cornellà in February 2017 - just as Pérez, who has now played almost 150 times for United, arrived from CD Tenerife nearly four years ago.
And Pérez told nufc.co.uk: "I'm really happy and pleased for him making his debut.
"Hopefully he can get more time with us. He's been training a lot of times with us and he's learning. He's in that process where he needs to work hard, learn from other players, and hopefully he can bring us in the future a lot of good things."
Fernández - along with goalkeeper Nathan Harker, who also made his senior bow against Antwerp - was brought swiftly back down to earth this week as he played for the under-23s in a 2-0 defeat to Stoke on Wednesday night.
But it's clear that Benítez sees potential in the pacy and direct wideman, who has been in good form at second-string level this term.
Pérez has been happy to offer his young team-mate support and advice, but admitted Fernández has needed little help in setting into the first team environment.
"I try to be close to him as much as I can but to be honest, he's been involved with all of us," Pérez explained.
"He can speak English in a perfect way so that's important for him, being so young, and I'm really happy for him because he has adapted himself to the first team quite well."
"He's been training a lot of times with us and he's learning. He's in that process where he needs to work hard, learn from other players, and hopefully he can bring us in the future a lot of good things."