Last January Arsenal’s young Mexican striker Carlos Vela was heavily linked with a move across town to Fulham where he would be part of an exchange deal for Mark Schwarzer. However, the deal fell through. When Eduardo departed for Shakhtar Donetsk, Vela must have hoped that he would receive a lot more game time at Arsenal. Unfortunately for him new signing Chamakh has had a wonderful start to his Arsenal career meaning that there has been little room for the young Mexican to play as he becomes increasingly sidelined.
Despite this, Vela did well when coming on a substitute in the first part of this season. After scoring against Bolton and netting two goals against Portuguese outfit SC Braga, Vela had scored 3 goals in only 2 matches and 40 minutes of game time. Impressive statistics indeed.
Unfortunately, these statistics rather mis-sell the Arsenal youngster. Despite his pace, Vela often struggles to make an impact on a game. He seems to lack confidence in his ability to take people on and lacks variety in his shooting (although he is an expert chipper). He’s the kind of player that’s useful to bring on when you’re already 3-4 goals up, but is almost entirely negligible when chasing a game. He started against Tottenham and failed to really spark anything and was also ineffective against West Ham when Arsenal were desperately seeking some inspiration.
He may not have made the impact he was hoping for, yet he’s still young and has time on his side. Whilst Theo Walcott’s shortcomings are often excused as a result of his young age, fans seem to have less patience for Vela who, let’s not forget has had far less game time than the Theo. I think a loan move would be excellent for him. As with Jack Wilshere’s loan move to Bolton last season, it would give him game time, develop him as a player and add a toughness that seems lacking from his character.
He really needs an opportunity to show that he can make it in the Premier League. If he’s loaned out this January, it’ll be a chance for him to show Wenger that he has got what it takes to make it. He may be talented, but he remains unproven on the bigger stages. The truth of the matter is that he’s not getting the chance he deserves to prove himself at Arsenal and that a loan move would likely be the best option for both parties.
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