Lucas Perez claims that he never considered moving to Barcelona from Alaves as he did not want to find himself in a position where he was frozen out of action, like the two years he spent with Arsenal in the Premier League.
Barca’s mid-season injury crisis, which saw them lose both Luis Suarez and Ousmane Dembele to long-term physical problems, meant that they were granted permission to sign an additional offensive reinforcement.
Even before then, Perez, who managed only 21 appearances in two seasons for the Gunners, was one of the players linked with a January move to the Catalans.
However, when they were granted permission to complete an emergency transfer, Barca ultimately plumped for Denmark international Martin Braithwaite.
For the 31-year-old, though, it was not a disappointment as he had not considered leaving Alaves, where he has thrived this season by scoring 10 goals in 24 La Liga appearances.
“In the winter transfer window, like all transfer windows, teams usually call,” he told Marca. “In fact, not only Barcelona called, but other teams as well.
“But in my head, I wanted to end the season here because I am happy and I have a contract.
“I didn’t want to take another misstep, where I would not have opportunities, as happened to me in England. In no case did I plan to leave mid-season, I want to stay here until the end.
“It is not the first time that Barcelona has called me, like other great clubs. The truth is that that does not distract me. What is clear to me is that I want to do well and I want to feel like a player again as I am doing here, where they have given me love since day one.
“At the end of the season, what happens, happens. I have a contract with Alaves. I am very settled and I am very happy in Vitoria, and that is reflected on the field.”
Despite his struggles in the Premier League with the Gunners and subsequently West Ham, Perez is pleased that he tried a new adventure.
“The experience has given me an ability to survive all situations outside of Spain and helped me to grow on a personal and football level,” he said. “It’s something that all players should try.”