Making a case for bringing Carlos Vela back to the Emirates
It’s become painfully clear to every man and his dog that Arsenal are in desperate need of signing a striker in the summer, having been proven to be incredibly thin on the deck in that department this season.
It’s become so clear that even Arsene Wenger has admitted publicly that he is in the tranfser market for a striker that it is after having been left with only Olivier Giroud as a senior frontman, especially once Theo Walcott succumbed to the usual injury troubles that plague the Gunners.
Yaya Sanogo has been promoted into the first team picture in recent months, but it has become painfully clear that he is still far from the finished article, while Nicklas Bendtner has reverted to his customary frustrating type, courting indiscipline off the field in addition to failing to gain the trust of his manager on it.
With strikers needed, it might be time to return to a former Gunner in Carlos Vela, who has now had time to mature his game away from the Emirates and hone his skills at Real Sociedad.
The Mexican striker has recently spoken of his desire to return to North London and the Gunners did include a buy-back clause when they sold Vela to the Basque club, having recognised that he had the potential to be the star he has become in La Liga. Capable of playing as a support striker in the mould of Walcott or Lukas Podolski or up front as the lone striker, Vela would make a perfect foil for Giroud, allowing the Frenchman to take the occasional rest and helping to share the burden of goal-scoring for the Gunners.
Vela has scored 15 goals for Sociedad this season as Sociedad have competed at both home and in the Champions league, a competition in which he added a further goal in a poor campaign for La Real. Those 15 league strikes have come at a conversion rate of 23.8%, a better strike rate than Giroud, whose 16 goals have from a conversion rate of 19% in the Premier League.
In addition to this, Vela has been a creative force for the Basque side, creating a massive 75 chances for Sociedad, to claim 11 assists, more than any player Arsenal currently possess and only two fewer than former Arsenal great, Cesc Fabregas.
Vela has been a livewire up front for Sociedad, having completed 69 take-ons and generally being incredibly hard to deal with for defenders, as evidenced by the 123 fouls that have been committed on the Mexican forward.
Vela struggled at first at Arsenal, but he was still young and yet to really carve out his own identity as a footballer in a country completely foreign to him. Now 25, Vela has benefited from being the main man at a club pushing the top teams in the country and matured as both a man and a player, looking now for that step up to a team capable of challenging for titles.
Arsenal saw their challenge for the title slip away in the second half of this season, but should they add to their attacking options with somebody still young and hungry to taste success, they could push their rivals all the way next season.
Vela is already aware of what is expected from an Arsene Wenger Arsenal team and now has the experience with which to carry out that master plan. Bringing him back home could be the perfect tonic for the Gunners to up their ambitions beyond fourth place once more.