Vela Making His Mark
Arsenal super-kid Carlos Vela is showing why Arsene Wenger snapped him up aged just 16, knowing he'd have to wait at least two years to bring the youngster to Arsenal.
Wenger snapped him up in 2005 after he impressed in the Under-17 World Cup. He played a pivitol role in the defeat of Brazil in the final, and finished the tournaments top scorer with five goals.
At the time some of the worlds biggest clubs were after him - as were Spurs. Real Madrid, AC Milan, Manchester United and Chelsea are all known to have shown an interest in him. But it was Arsenal who won the race to sign him. Arsene Wenger paid over £2Million for Vela, and sent him straight out on loan to Celta Vigo. However, they had a full quota of non-Eu players, so he was sent Spanish Second Division side Salamanca where he made 31 apperances and scored 8 goals.
Arsenal applied for a work permit for him in the summer of 2007, but that was rejected, so Arsene Wenger was forced to send him out on loan again. This time he was sent to Spanish Primera Division side Osasuna.
It's since his arrival at Osasuna that he has really impressed. He's shown his versatility by playing on both wings as well as a second striker.
His performance against Real Madrid before Christmas was one of outstnading quality. He gave Sergio Ramos a torrid time for the entire game, and although he didn't get on the score sheet, he was one of the best players on the pitch.
His performances have also caught the eye of Spanish Football expert Guillem Balague. The Sky Sports pundit spoke of him in his column. 'Osasuna are worth watching for Carlos Vela alone,' said Balague.
'Of course, he belongs to Arsenal and he is on loan to Osasuna for the season and he's playing really well at the moment.
'He scored a fantastic goal at the weekend and made Sergio Ramos look very mediocre when Osasuna played Real Madrid before Christmas.'
He's not the only man to have praised Vela this season. Back in December Arsene Wenger had some words of praise for the Mexican international. He told Arsenal.com: 'He has what we like here at Arsenal.
'He is a good passer of the ball and a finisher. He has that intelligent movement with very good technique and great pace.'
Has that got your mouth watering? Next season already looks like it's going to be an exciting one.