Controversial Mexican Striker Carlos Vela who has refused to play for his country and is not on the 2014 World Cup roster will return to Arsenal next season according to Jokin Aperribay, the President of Vela’s current club Real Sociedad
Apperribay told the radio station Cadena SER:
“Arsenal have informed us that Vela would be with them next season.”
Signed originally as a sixteen year-old, Vela played for Arsenal from 2005 to 2012 but spent most his time at the Emirates out on loan. In his Gunners career, Vela scored just three Premier League goals in 29 matches. In his final Arsenal season he was sent on loan to Sociedad where he scored a spectacular goal and was signed permanently in the summer of 2012.
When Vela made the permanent switch to the San Sebastian based club Arsenal included a buy-back clause that allows them to acquire Vela for a fee reported to be somewhere between just £3.2 to £3.5 million.
This past season, Vela provided 16 goals and 12 assists for Sociedad making him among the most prolific attacking players in Spanish football. The Gunners, Vela’s former club are struggling for attacking consistency and have a lack of depth across the pitch which was evidenced this past season when a rash of injuries saw Arsenal fall from top of the table on New Year’s Day to fourth in the league by season’s end.
Vela is a polarizing figure in Mexico and his previous stint in England did not go well. Still at such a bargain basement price, Arsene Wenger will likely be tempted to return the now 25 year-old striker to the Emirates.
The success Vela has had in Spain over the course of the last three years may catapult him to success in England despite his past failures with the Gunners. Several players from La Liga have moved to the Premier League in recent seasons and acclimated quickly and if Vela provides the type of depth Arsenal needs in the attacking positions, this could go down as one of the best transfers of the summer.