The Carlos Vela conundrum for Wenger

Arsenal hobbled out of this year’s Premier League title race after tasting defeat at the hands of their North London rivals. Questions will be asked of who stays and who leaves the Emirates as the Gunner’s make preparations for next season. One such player who should probably be looking over his shoulder is young Mexican forward Carlos Vela.

The 21 yr old trickster was earmarked for big things at Arsenal, unfortunately this has not really come to fruit. Despite impressing significantly during his numerous loan spells in Spain with Salamanca and Osasuna, Vela has not stamped himself a place within the Gunners first team. With the injury to star striker Robin Van Persie for the majority of the season, Vela has not taken his chance. With calls for Arsenal to bolster their front line with some genuine class, it appears Bordeaux striker Marouane Chamakh will make the move to North London.

So what does this hold for Carlos Vela? At only 21yr’s of age an argument could be made that Arsene Wenger is protecting the youngster and using him sparingly. I fail to subscribe to this as I feel this season Carlos Vela had a real opportunity to make an impression on the first team. With Theo Walcott’s lack of nous and Robin Van Persie and Nicklas Bentdner’s injuries we would have seen more of the talented Carlos Vela. Obviously not. Vela has not made one Premier League start this season. All nine appearances have been from the bench and he has appeared sporadically in League Cup and FA Cup games.

The Mexican international is a mainstay within the national side and has an impressive 8 goals in 23 appearances. After his successful stints in Spain and playing for Mexico, is it a question that he is just not particularly suited to the English game? I for one was excited about his future at Arsenal, yet it seems Arsene Wenger is not fully prepared to let him loose. In the games I have seen him play he has not exactly set the world alight. In particular his performance in Arsenal’s FA Cup loss to Stoke City earlier this season was atrocious.

Arsenal entered their two biggest games of the season with no strikers, the 0-3 defeat by Chelsea and 1-3 humbling by Manchester United. Carlos Vela was the only striker on the books fit and despite the size of the games; Wenger did not trust him and started a completely ineffective Andrei Arshavin. What’s the point in having Carlos Vela at the club if when the other strikers are injured you still do not trust him to do a job?

Arsenal only paid £125,000 for the Mexican and they will be a whole host of interested parties from Spain should Arsene Wenger decide to dispense with his services. The Gunners would easily pick up £5 million plus that could be invested elsewhere. It’s definitely food for thought for Mr Wenger.

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