By Richard Clarke

Carlos Vela’s time has come.

Injuries to Nicklas Bendtner and Robin van Persie have presented the Mexican with a chance to stake a real claim a first-team spot over the next month or so. In the meantime, the 20-year-old will be talking to Arsène Wenger about a new deal at Arsenal.

Vela has shown immense potential since joining from Guadalajara in 2008 and Wenger likens him to former Liverpool poacher Robbie Fowler. Even though top-flight chances have been limited, the manager clearly values the youngster.

“We are extending his contract at the moment,” said the Frenchman. “We are in a situation where we get these players in at 15 or16 and work very hard for five years with them. After that we do not want to give them away.

“At the moment we have very good young players but the players in front of them are young as well, so it is a bit harder for this generation than it was for the generation of Denilson and Fabregas.

“Vela is a fantastic talent and he is 20-years-old. We have invested a lot of time for him because we put him in Spain for two years, got him back and now we work with him every day.

“I believe he is a Robbie Fowler-type. He needs very little time to make a decision in the box. He is relaxed when he finishes and he has very short backlift. He is aswell left-footed and he is a similar size.”

However perhaps the most telling praise was Wenger’s final word on the matter.

He was asked whether Vela’s talent was the single reason he decided not to replace Emmanuel Adebayor in summer.

The manager replied: “Yes.”

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23 Nov 2009