Arsenal Football Club is delighted to announce that Mexico international striker Carlos Vela has signed a new long-term contract with the Club.

Twenty-year-old Vela made his long-awaited Arsenal debut last season, and burst onto the scene with a fantastic Carling Cup hat-trick against Sheffield United at Emirates Stadium in September 2008.

The Mexican forward signed for Arsenal in January 2007, but then spent the next 18 months on loan in Spain gaining precious first team experience, before coming back to London permanently for the beginning of the 2008/09 season.

Carlos, who has made eight first-team appearances this season, is a regular for Mexico and has already made 19 appearances for his country, scoring six goals during this time.

Vela made his senior debut for Mexico in September 2007, aged just 18, scoring his first senior international goal just one month later. He also played an integral part in Mexico winning the 2005 FIFA Under-17 World Championships, scoring five times to take the Golden Boot, and was also a member of the Mexico squad for the 2007 FIFA Under-20 World Cup.

The skilful left-footed striker began his career with Deportivo Guadalajara in Mexico, before moving to Celta Vigo in Spain, from where he joined the Gunners. Vela has now made a total of 38 Arsenal first-team appearances, scoring seven goals.

Manager Arsène Wenger said: “We’re delighted that Carlos Vela has signed a new long-term contract with the Club. Carlos is a fantastic talent and we have already seen glimpses of this during his performances.

"Let’s remember, he is still only 20 years-old, so there is still a huge amount to come from this boy. We have invested a lot of time in Carlos, as we put him in Spain for two years to get some good experience. Now he’s back with us, we’re working hard with him every day and he is a very exciting player. We’re looking forward to seeing Carlos score many goals in an Arsenal shirt for a long time to come.”

Carlos Vela said: “I’m very happy to sign a new contract and I’m very excited to be spending more years with Arsenal Football Club. I just want to work hard and help this great Club win trophies. I want to stay here for a long time and it’s a great responsibility. I will keep working hard to show the Boss and all the fans why I’m here.”

Vela is the 11th first-team player who has committed his long-term future to Arsenal since the end of last season. Vela, Eduardo, Sanchez Watt, Alex Song, Nicklas Bendtner, Denilson, Robin van Persie, Theo Walcott, Lukasz Fabianski, Aaron Ramsey and Jack Wilshere, have all recently signed new long-term extensions with the Club.

Everyone at Arsenal Football Club is looking forward to Carlos’ continued contribution in the forthcoming years.

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 10 Dec 2009