By Richard Clarke
For all the Young Guns in the Arsenal ranks, one of the Club's most prodigious talents is learning his trade away from the harsh spotlight of English football.
Like Cesc Fabregas, Carlos Vela won the Golden Boot and Player of the Tournament at the Under-17s World Cup. Both made their full international debuts aged 18 and are arguably the brightest young stars in their respective countries. But that is where the comparisons end. While Fabregas went from Spain to England to learn his trade, Vela has had to make the opposite trip.
The 18-year-old Mexican striker signed for Arsenal in January 2007 and was immediately loaned to Osasuna. He gave his first interview to this month's Club magazine and talked about his long-distance love affair with his parent club.
"I signed for Arsenal because they are not only one of the best clubs in the world but also a club that dares to give opportunities to young players, and with great success, as we all know," said Vela.
"Arsène Wenger is also enough to make you want to join the Club. The atmosphere is very nice and supportive and so are the players. They make you feel they are counting on you.
"When you watch Arsenal on TV it looks so smooth and easy, but there is hard work behind it! I just hope I get the chance and hope that I will be able adapt to the team's playing style quickly and that it doesn't take me long to be successful."
Vela started his career with Deportivo Guadalajara in Mexico but has spent much of his career in Spain with Celta Vigo and then Second Division side Salamanca.
He scored his scored his first La Liga goal last month and the Spanish press have marked him out as one to watch.
"Things have been going fine here," he said. "I'm getting more and more playing time and I feel I've improved as a player. My level is getting better by the week and I just hope that I'll be a regular in the starting eleven soon. I feel they trust me to do well and their confidence is very important. I just long to be able to pay back all this support."
The Official Magazine is available from newsagents now from the Arsenal retail outlets and through Home Shopping on 020 8342 5858.Copyright 2016 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