Carlos Vela appeared to be highly skillful young forward that was destined to become a dazzling centre forward in north London. But his off-field antics and discipline were rumored to be behind Wenger’s lack of trust in the little Mexican.
Since his permanent departure to Real Sociedad he has become their star man, leading from the front and has demonstrated some exquisite finishing.
On Sunday, Vela left the field before full-time to a standing ovation for his performance against Athletic Bilbao in the 2-0 Basque derby win. He may not have scored, but it was his hard work and determination going forward and tracking back that impressed the crowd, hardly the Vela we remember right?
His growing maturity and presence is only pushing him back into the Mexico national team reckoning. The forward famously declared himself unavailable during his difficult period with the Gunners/pre Real Sociedad and Mexico coach Miguel Herrera is well aware of his ability.
Herrera told ESPN last month:
If Carlos shows that conviction and that football he plays with in Real Sociedad, without doubt he will be an important player (for the national team).
He’s certainly turned his career around after a disappointing and frustrating time in London, and could be the type of player the Gunners could utilize to compliment Olivier Giroud. Someone with pace, skill and directness. He’s also an excellent finisher.
Now the clincher, Arsenal have a reported buy-back clause in the 24-year-olds contract, and Vela himself failed to rule out a return to his former club in an interview in October.
Buying a top player in January is tough, especially someone who is playing for a title contending side – options are limited. While Vela is earning plaudits in Spain, if Wenger offers the Mexican an Olive branch then why not?
The specifics of the buy-out clause are unknown (whether the option is only available for the summer window or not) and while fellow Mexican Javier Hernandez has been tracked as a possible signing for the Gunners, Vela could be a more realistic and adaptable option.
Do you think Vela is a viable option this January? Comment below..