Ayoze Perez has delivered a message to departing Newcastle United manager Rafa Benitez.
The club has confirmed that the Spaniard would be leaving St. James’ Park when his contract expires this week.
And compatriot Perez has been quick to sing his praises.
Writing on his personal Twitter account, he said: “Thank you Rafa for all these years at Newcastle and good luck in the future!
“You are a top manager”.
Gracias @rafabenitezweb por estos años, mucha suerte en tus nuevos proyectos! Eres un mister
Perez is not the only Newcastle United player to thank Benitez for his time at the club, and the general impression his message gives is one of real disappointment. Rafa put a lot of faith in the 25-year-old during his tenure on Tyneside, and he was rewarded last season with a stellar campaign that returned 13 goals and a Whoscored rating of 6.95. Perez, like many of his teammates, will surely be worried about who the club draft on to replace Rafa, but whoever the candidate is, it’s hard to see them having such a positive rapport with fans and players alike. That in itself lends to more worries. How many of this squad will pack up and roll out of town this summer in the aftermath of losing Benitez? You would hope the number is low, but with Mike Ashley’s propensity for stripping assets, and considering Benitez’s immense popularity, you wouldn’t be surprised to see something of an exodus.