Spanish striker Ayoze Perez has admitted he had to leave Leicester City in the January transfer window, for his own good.

The forward has been speaking to AS about his time at Real Betis so far, having joined the Spanish side on loan at the end of January.

He’s been a big hit with Manuel Pellegrini’s side since his arrival, establishing himself as a key player under the Chilean coach, so much so that the plan is to sign him on a permanent basis in the summer.

His return to Spain in January brought an end to a nine-year spell in England, having initially moved to the Premier League with Newcastle in July 2014.

He joined Leicester in a €33.4m deal in July 2019 and went on to make 114 appearances for the club but had found himself out of favour this season, so much so that they were happy to let him join Betis on loan despite the fact his contract at the club is expiring in the summer.

The transfer was sanctioned largely because Perez made it clear that he wanted to leave and return to Spain, something he says he needed on a sporting and mental level after his struggles at Leicester.

“I thought it was the right time to try the experience in my country,” he told the newspaper.

“It was what my head needed, what my body was asking for, and the possibility of Betis was always there. Despite the difficulties of getting the move from England to here, the coach wanted me to come here at all times.

“He did everything possible and, in the end, we got it. This is where I wanted to be, where I feel loved. He was very important.

“We were in contact several times and he let me know how much he wanted me to be part of his team. Already in his time in the Premier League there was interest.”