By Richard Clarke
Arsène Wenger expects Carlos Vela to be a part of his first-team squad next season.
The 18-year-old striker is yet to play a game for Arsenal or even on English soil. The Mexican, who starred in the Under-17s World Cup in 2005, signed from Guadalajara in January and is spending this season on loan at Spanish side Osasuna. He has one goal in three La Liga starts so far.
But although he is out of sight the youngster - who hit eight goals for Spanish Second Division Salamanca last season - is hardly out of Arsène Wenger's mind.
"We scout him every week when he plays," said the Arsenal manager. "He can apply for a passport in March and normally he will start with us next summer.
"He will straight away be with the first-team and after that it is up to him to get a place in the side.
"I sent him to Spain because he comes from a Mexican culture and it is easier to adapt in Europe. 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."

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Richard Clarke 29 Nov 2007