Celtic January signing Manny Perez is continuing to impress during his loan spell at North Carolina FC.
The right-back notched his second assist of the season on Sunday in their 4-1 win over Hartford Athletic. It secured back-to-back wins and assists for Perez, who also set up a goal against Charlotte Independence last week.
His exquisite weight that he put on the ball combined with the curl on the pass against Hartford, however, was tremendous technique from the Celtic man.
You can watch the assist below, which was the fourth goal of the 4-1 rout.
"Now watch this pass from Manny Perez"
"Yeah this is unbelievable, look at the weight, the touch, the curl on that pass."
— North Carolina FC (@NorthCarolinaFC) April 29, 2019
Flourishing at his home-town club
Perez actually came through the youth academy at North Carolina. Between 2014 and 2017, he played in 62 matches and slotted home 20 goals.
Now, however, he’s strutting his stuff impressively in the first-team during his loan spell. It sounds as though there are also goals in him, and so far he’s absolutely flying in the USL.
It will be interesting to see if Celtic decide to pull him back in the summer or allow him to see out the season with North Carolina. He’s clearly enjoying life at his home-town club, and they sit fourth in the Eastern Conference section of the USL.
Celtic, meanwhile, will be going through something of a right-back overhaul in the summer. Jeremy Toljan will head back to Borussia Dortmund in the summer, whilst both Cristian Gamboa and Mikael Lustig are out of contract. With no new contract being reported for either, it looks like all three could be gone.
Perez shouldn’t be first-choice next season, regardless of the form he’s showing for North Carolina. Celtic need proven quality in that area of the pitch, and could do with investing some real money into it.
But Perez could easily prove that he can play a part next season. Anthony Ralston looks like being the only out-and-out right-back at the club next year outside of Perez. So it could be a fight from the pair of them to see who is the back-up to whoever is brought in this summer.
In any case, Perez has plenty of positive attributes to his game by the looks of things. Hopefully, we can see that talent shine in green-and-white next season.