Arsene Wenger has hailed former Arsenal man, Carlos Vela, as one of the best strikers in Europe despite his appalling minute-per-goal ratio.
Speaking at a press conference in the US before Arsenal’s final pre-season game in the States, Wenger said of the Mexican, “Vela has top talent and is one of the best strikers in Europe there.”
Big things were expected from the 5’ 8” forward when he finally returned to Arsenal after three seasons out on loan but it never quite clicked for him and another series of loans followed before he was eventually allowed to leave the club in 2012.
Sold to Real Sociedad for €3m (approx. £2.5m using today’s Brexit exchange rate), Vela cost Arsenal £125,000 initially, with the possibility of that fee rising to £500,000 if he completed 50 first team games for the club. In total, he made 62 appearances (19 starts, 43 as sub), scoring 11 goals.
A buy-back clause was also included in the Sociedad deal but Arsenal passed on the option to re-sign him and were said to have pocketed an additional £9.5m, meaning the club sold Carlos Vela for £12m.
The 27-year-old scored five goals with four assists in 35 La Liga games last season, averaging a goal every 552 minutes.