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Arsenal's Lucas Perez expected 'more of a starring role' after signing

Arsenal striker Lucas Perez said he has not played as much as he envisaged since joining from Deportivo La Coruna but is determined to make the most of his opportunities.

Perez, who joined in the summer after Arsenal triggered his £17 million release clause, has started only two games in all competitions so far.

"When I first arrived here I expected to have more of a starring role," he told Onda Cero radio.

The 28-year-old scored 17 league goals and set up eight more in 35 league starts for Depor last season.

But with Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott in good form for Arsene Wenger's side, Perez has found his Arsenal chances limited.

Lucas Perez set up two goals for Mesut Ozil against Ludogorets.

"The teammates that are playing in my position are doing a great job," he said.

"We have won seven games in a row and, at the end of the day, the coach wants what is best for the team.

"I had hoped to have more playing time, but what I have to do now is make the most of the opportunities I get."

Perez set up two goals for Mesut Ozil when he came on as a substitute against Ludogorets in the 6-0 Champions League win on Wednesday.

"I told him [Ozil] that he owes me a meal, and he said he was happy to oblige," he added.

He said he had chosen to join Arsenal "because of the club's history and the great players that have played here," adding: "It was also good to know that all the Spanish players that have played here have been happy."

Arsenal host Middlesbrough on Saturday with Perez hoping to make a second Premier League start.

And the La Coruna-born forward said he was also looking forward to Sunday's Galician derby when Depor play at Celta Vigo.

"Of course I'm going to watch the derby, wearing the Depor jersey," he added.

Adriana Garcia is a Valencia-based football writer who covers La Liga for ESPN FC.

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