Carlos Vela
Carlos Vela

Carlos Vela

Carlos Vela arrived at Arsenal as one of football's hottest prospects.

The Cancun-born striker was signed from Mexican club Guadalajara in 2005 after impressing Arsenal's scouts in winning the Golden Boot at the Under-17 World Championship.

Carlos Vela Profile

Name Carlos Vela
Arsenal Career 2008 - 2012
Position: Striker
Appearances 62 (19 starts, 43 as a sub)
Goals 11

Work-permit issues prompted two loan spells for Vela. He enjoyed a successful period in the Segunda Division with Salamanca in 2006/07 before making the step up to La Liga with Osasuna the following year.

Vela was granted a work permit upon his return to London and was soon involved in Arsene Wenger's first-team squad. 

He made his Premier League debut as a second-half substitute against Newcastle United in August 2008 and dazzled on his full debut with a Carling Cup hat-trick in a 6-0 win over Sheffield United.

Vela earned a reputation for his exquisite chipped finishes and executed one of those in Arsenal's FA Cup win over Burnley in March 2009.

Injuries meant the Mexican barely got going in the 2009/10 season but he found his fitness in 2010/11 and turned heads with some vital goals during a loan spell at West Bromwich Albion.

When discussing Vela, Wenger once drew comparisons with a young Robbie Fowler. Praise indeed - but first-team opportunities were few and far between with the likes of Robin van Persie ahead of Vela.

He enjoyed a successful season at Real Sociedad in 2011/12, scoring 12 goals in 35 appearances. That form earned the Mexican a permanent move to the La Liga side in the summer of 2012.