By 90Min
September 17, 2018

West Ham forward Lucas Perez has issued a statement firmly denying that he refused to warm up as a substitute during the Hammers' 1-3 win at Goodison Park on Sunday.

Television pictures showed Perez in heated talks with Hammers goalkeeping coach Xavi Valero as Manuel Pellegrini replaced the injured Marko Arnautovic with Michail Antonio instead of the Spaniard.

Sky Sports speculated that Perez had refused to warm up, but Pellegrini denied this in his post-match interview and Perez clarified the "misinterpreted" images via his Twitter account.

"Given the false information spread by the media that has affected my image, I am obliged to explain the only truth: I have never ever refused to warm up in my whole career, let alone play in a match," his statement reads.

"In my current club the players on the bench warm up in series of 3 to 5 minutes, in continuous rotation. In the moment that Marko got injured, I was on the bench after warming up. 

"The coach called me to go out to play, however having realised that it was faster to sub Antonio in, who at that moment was warming up he changed his decision.

"The images that have been misinterpreted correspond to a talk with the goalkeeper's coach, in which I never refused to warm up and explained what happened.

"As a professional I accept the decision and I will continue working hard to have as many minutes as I can."

West Ham won the match to end their losing start to the season. Perez has only played 40 minutes of Premier League football since joining from Arsenal in the summer.

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