Lucas Perez has defended himself against ‘false’ reports that he refused to warm up during the win against Everton on Sunday.
The Hammers claimed their first points of the Premier League season as a brace from Andriy Yarmolenko and a goal from Marko Armautovic saw Manuel Pellegrini earn his first League win since joining the club over the summer.
Having sealed the win, Arnautovic was withdrawn with a knee injury, replaced by Michail Antonio. Minutes later TV commentators claimed there had been reports that Perez was supposed to come on in place of Arnautovic, but that the former Arsenal man had refused to warm up, he was then shown in a heated discussion with goalkeeping coach Xavi Valero on the West Ham bench.
After the game, Pellegrini said: “It is very simple. When Marko had a problem with his knee, I wanted to put Lucas on. I thought he was ready to come on but he was sitting on the bench, [Michail] Antonio was ready so we were not delayed, I put Antonio on. “
On Monday, Perez took to Twitter releasing a statement which aligned with Pellegrini’s comments.
“Given the false information spread by various media that affect my image, I am forced to explain the only truth: I have never refused to warm up in my career and even less to play,” Perez wrote.
“In my current club the substitutes warm up in series of three every five minutes, in continuous rotation. When Marko was injured, I was on the bench after having warmed up.
The manager called me to go out to play and when he found that it was faster to put Antonio, who at that moment was warming up in band, he changed his decision.
He added: “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.
“As a professional I accept the decision and I will continue working hard to have as many minutes as I can.”
Perez has made just two substitute Premier League appearances for West Ham so far, with his only start coming in the League Cup at AFC Wimbledon.