[The original headline omitted the word ‘to’ making it seem like this had already happened. This was a simple mistake that we apologise for]

West Ham are reportedly ready to let Lucas Perez leave the club after he failed to impress following his move from Arsenal.

LONDON, ENGLAND - DECEMBER 04: Lucas Perez of West Ham United celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Cardiff City at London Stadium on December 4, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)
LONDON, ENGLAND – DECEMBER 04: Lucas Perez of West Ham United celebrates after scoring his team’s second goal during the Premier League match between West Ham United and Cardiff City at London Stadium on December 4, 2018 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Dan Istitene/Getty Images)

Looking back over the summer’s business, it’s hard to imagine any West Ham fans feeling positive about the deals they struck with Arsenal players.

Jack Wilshere is still sidelined because his ankles are made of silly string, allowing him just 339 minutes of playing time this season. Good for Arsenal that he left, not so good for West Ham who gave him a three-year deal worth £5m-a-year (£96kpw).

Then there is Lucas who, it must be said, was given a very raw deal at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger which no doubt went a long way to destroying his confidence as a forward.

He arrived at Arsenal in 2016 after a season that saw him score 19 goals with 11 assists in 39 games with a struggling Deportivo La Coruna where he was a club hero. They even offered him a 10-year deal to try to stop him leaving for London. By the time he returned to Depor on loan in 2017, he was so bad their fans were jeering him and worse.

A move to West Ham last summer seemed like a decent one for all involved. Arsenal moved on a player they had wasted while West Ham got a forward who knows where the goal is. Or used to.

But it hasn’t turned out like that for the Spaniard who has struggled to capture his pre-Arsenal form and now faces an ignominious exit after only six months as a Hammer.

Mail on Sunday 6 January 2019

Real Betis are said to be interested in bringing the 30-year-old back to Spain but they will likely have company from a host of other clubs.

During his time with Arsenal, Lucas scored just seven goals (with five assists) in 21 games. He played a total of 948 minutes during his Arsenal career, often finding himself benched no matter how much he impressed when given a chance.

At West Ham, he has played 572 minutes.