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Can Carlos Vela become Arsenal's Ronaldo - a proven match winner?

The excellent Young Guns blog is reporting that Arsenal are set to offer our Mexican teenage star Carlos Vela a new contract that will tie him to the club until 2012.

If true, it's excellent news for us Gooners because Vela has been outstanding while he has been on loan in Spain awaiting his work permit for the UK.

Last season Vela became a firm favourite with the Salamanca fans in the Spanish second tier, while this year he has arguably been the star performer for Osasuna, who lie a respectable 12th in La Liga.

What is more exciting for us expectant fans is that Vela has been transformed from an out and out striker to being a left-sided forward. He has provided numerous assists this season for Osasuna and the Spanish press are loving his style of play, so his game will hopefully progress even further under Arsene Wenger's tutelage when he comes to Arsenal this summer.

Despite never having kicked a ball for Arsenal, Vela is nearly half way through the five-year deal he signed when he joined the Gunners for an estimated £2.5 million back in late 2005.

The fact that he is not an EU citizen prevented him from coming straight to England and applications to FIFA for an Exceptional Talent visa have been turned down more than once, which is strange for a 19-year-old who has become one of his country's first choice strikers.

That situation forced Arsene Wenger to put one of his most prized teenage assets out on loan in Spain. Vela originally joined Celta de Vigo, but he did little more than warm the bench so Wenger arranged a switch to Salamanca for the 2006-07 campaign, before negotiating his step up to the Spanish top flight with Osasuna this season.

And it seems as if Wenger is as anxious as the rest of us to see the Mexican playing in England - hence the suggestion that Vela will be offered an extended contract when he finally arrives here in a few months' time.

"We scout him every week when he plays," Wenger has admitted, adding that Vela can apply for EU citizenship as early as this month. And when he arrives in London, Wenger reveals, "He will straight away be with the first-team and after that it is up to him to get a place in the side. 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."

It's unlikely that Le Gaffer would draw comparisons between Vela and Man United's Ronaldo at this stage, but the prospect of Arsenal having an lightning paced attacking left winger who is capable of scoring goals is mouth watering indeed.

Have you been following Vela's career in Spain? If so, what do you reckon of our on-loan star? And do you think he can fill be the kind of attacking left-winger that Arsenal so desperately lack? Share your thoughts here.

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Posted by Gordon Masson on March 19, 2008 11:30 AM in Debate of the Day| News| Players
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I've seen him in several games and i was astonished. the best game was against real madrid. you can watch 8minutes against madrid on youtube. sometimes he owned sergio ramos. and i'm sure he is going to be one of the best player in the world. ;.)

Posted by: Daniel | March 19, 2008 7:20 PM

Vela is turning into a great forward. Just like Daniel said. Watch the YouTube video of him playing Real Madrid. A young player doing what he did in that game is very impressive. He knows how to spread the ball around and makes great runs when he doesn't have the ball.

Posted by: Brandon | March 19, 2008 11:03 PM

Vela is definite quality.

however, having seen his matches, I am not sure if his performances have been somewhat irregular due to the tasks his manager has him do, or because of pure irregularity. What I mean is that he tends to play better at home rather than on away games. this could be due to a more defensive approach by the manager, or not....there is my doubt.

I am definitely looking forward to seeing this kid with Arsenal. Under proper guidance by Wenger, Carlos Vela most definitely has the potential to become one of the best 10 world players......yes, he can be an Arsenal Cristiano Ronaldo

The only thing i hope nobody does with him, is to hype him. let him develop.

Posted by: Jacinto | March 20, 2008 10:14 AM

Good Point Jacinto. This generation of Mexican players has been toted as the best. Mexican fans call them the "golden" generation. Well recently, they've been playing anything but "golden." However, I do think Vela deserves that title. He's had the luxury of being able to play with his club team (osasuna) and gain experience. I think he's got great size (which is not normal for a mexican player) and he's been able to use it to his advantage. We'll see how he fairs in his upcoming matches.

Posted by: Brandon | March 20, 2008 3:21 PM

He'll need time to settle into the Premiership but given that time I think he will lock down the left midfield position and he'll form an excellent partnership with Clichy. I think his arrival could also spell the end of Rosicky's career at Arsenal. Wenger will no doubt give him until next January to prove his fitness but if he gets another lengthy injury I say it will be curtains for him considering the number of lads we have in the Reserves who are ready to step up to the First Team from next season onwards. Vela will be dynamite though in a season or two.

Posted by: Charlie7542 | March 20, 2008 5:21 PM

THe best young talent in the world!!

Posted by: Chip | March 23, 2008 4:45 PM

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