Arsenal forward Lucas Perez has admitted that he would like to play more regularly but is determined to keep fighting for his place to make the most of his opportunities. Yet, the Spaniard expects that his latest goal in the Monday's 2-0 victory over Sutton United will serve to convince Arsene Wenger he deserves a new chance to prove his worth in the coming Premier League trip to Liverpool on 4 March.
The 28-year-old striker moved to north London during the summer transfer window in a €20m (£17m, $21.1m) deal after a sensational campaign at Deportivo La Coruna, scoring 17 goals and setting up a further 10 to help the Galicians avoid relegation.
But Lucas has been restricted to only nine starting appearances at Arsenal as Alexis Sanchez, Olivier Giroud, Theo Walcott and even Danny Welbeck look ahead of him in Wenger's pecking order.
The Spaniard has still scored seven goals and provided five assists in that time but his future at Arsenal has come under some scrutiny in recent days – as Lucas' agent confirmed that the player was growing frustrated about his lack of playing time.
Yet, Lucas has now clarified the situation, admitting that he wants to play more but understanding that the competition for places at Arsenal is very big.
"Arsenal are a big team and the competition for places is big. Everyone wants to play and it's normal. Today I am happy because I played and scored a goal ... and now I need to continue like this to convince the boss to trust more on me," Lucas told Cadena Cope following the 2-0 victory over Sutton.
"Obviously everyone expects to play more. After I scored the hat-trick (against Basel in the Champions League) the boss did not count much with me. But that also means that teammates are very good. The team have not had a bad streak of losing three or four matches in a row... The competition is big and you have to wait for your moment to make the most of the opportunity when it arrives."
Wenger's future has also been under doubt since the 5-1 defeat to Bayern Munich in the first leg of the Champions League last 16. However, Lucas backed the France boss to make the best decision for him and the club ahead of next season.
Yet, questioned whether he believes that Wenger's time at Arsenal is coming to an end, he said: "It's normal that after the defeat to Bayern there were criticisms. At the moment he does not transmit us the idea that he is going to leave, but we do not know what's going on in his mind. He is very excited about this season. He is calm. He has been here for a long time and has a lot of experience. He will know what is best for the club and for him," the Arsenal forward added.
"In the Champions (League) we have a very complicated game. Bayern are one of the best teams in the world and after conceding five goals it will be very difficult. But we will fight to try to win the match at home."