By Rugba Johnson Barovbe
After seeing Vela’s impressive display on Saturday against Real Betis, it is of no surprise that he is seen as a great talent by top European clubs looking to sign him. Carlos Vela has proven himself at Real Sociedad as he has scored 40 goals and assisted 27 in 104 La Liga appearances for the club. However, it is quite odd to acknowledge the fact that during the 4 year period that he was signed as an Arsenal player, he was hardly used and made only 29 Premier League appearances.
Vela was not really utilized at Arsenal, which in hindsight, seems to be a flawed decision on the part of Wenger. If statistics are compared, Carlos Vela seems to be a better striker than both Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski. Giroud has scored 14 goals with 7 assists out of 33 appearances in the Premier League while Vela has netted 14 goals with 11 assists out of 34 appearances in La Liga. Podolski has only 8 goals but it can be excused as he has had only 17 appearances this season.
What makes these statistics more interesting is the fact that Giroud and Podolski play for a better team than Vela. Clearly, what follows is that the Mexican would actually have to work harder for his goals and assists to be on the same level with Grioud. To be fair, the Premier League is generally regarded as a tougher league than La Liga in terms of physicality.
Currently, Arsenal is reported to be still in the market for a quality striker. While Carlos Vela might not be as experienced or as prolific as reported Arsenal targets, Mario Madzukic and Karim Benzema, he does have a lot to offer the Gunners. Vela has quick feet, can play also on the wing, is good at link-up play and has a very high work rate. Vela also has some experience in the Premier League which both targets do not have.
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Interestingly, there is a plot twist to missing Vela; Arsenal is reportedly targeting Vela’s teammate at Real Sociedad- Antione Greizmann. However, it wouldn’t be surprising that Wenger isn’t looking to re-sign Vela because he quite clearly said that he wouldn’t want to return to Arsenal from Real Sociedad back in 2012.
Whatever the case, Vela will always be a great ex-Arsenal player and from this promising season, one can still expect more from this Mexican talent.