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Lucas Perez could leave Arsenal - Wenger feels 'sorry' for Spanish striker

Arsene Wenger concedes that Lucas Perez may leave Arsenal in the close-season as he cannot promise the forward first-team football.

Perez made the switch to the Emirates Stadium from Deportivo La Coruna in August, but has been restricted to just 11 Premier League appearances – only two of those as part of the starting XI.

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Reports suggest that Perez is clamouring for an exit from the Gunners in order to play more games and Wenger, while expressing his wish to keep the 28-year-old, admits the Spaniard's future is up in the air.

"If I am the manager I would love to keep him, but we have to sit down and see if he has a realistic chance to play," the Arsenal boss stated at a news conference ahead of Wednesday's contest at Southampton.

"He is a top-quality striker but I could not give him the games he wants and deserves, I confess that.

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"I feel a bit sorry for him."

Perez, who has a contract with Arsenal until June 2020, has scored seven goals in 21 appearances in all competitions for the Gunners.