Manuel Pellegrini has found a second reliable goalscorer hard to come by at the London Stadium, too often relying on Marko Arnautovic to find the back of the net. He will be hoping that if there is a positive to come from Saturday’s shock defeat to AFC Wimbledon, it was Lucas Perez’s strike.
The Spaniard, who joined in the summer from Arsenal, came on at half-time and started an attempted comeback just 13 minutes into the half with a precise finish, but he could not do enough to turn the tie around single-handedly.
He will now be hoping that his substitute appearance, by far the best of a bad bunch, will have done enough to earn him only his sixth start of the season when West Ham face Wolves on Tuesday evening.
Pellegrini has been reluctant to put his trust in the 30-year-old, as evidenced by his determination to persevere with Andy Carroll and Javier Hernandez despite both players being in woeful form.
Perez has certainly staked his claim now though and many will be hoping to see him in action at Molineux. If not, the question will be asked why the Irons are sticking with him.
As the transfer window nears its close, Perez looks set to remain in east London, but he must begin to play a more important role as his latest display would justify.