The La Liga de Futbol Profesional (LFP) have voted former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela as the best player in the month of December as the Mexican helped the Txuri-urdin to the brink of the Champions League spots.
Carlos Vela started his career at Guadalajara Chivas, the same side which produced Manchester United forward Javier ‘Chicharito’ Hernanadez. Yet, Vela was never too attached to the Mexican giants and left his homeland as a teenager to sign a 5-year contract with Arsenal for a reported fee of £125,000, rising to £550,000
The Mexican international gained experience over in Spain as he was ineligible to represent the Gunners under the EU ruling. Spells at Celta Vigo, Salamance and Osasuna followed before finally breaking through to the Arsenal first team squad.
Despite great promise as a youngster, including a successful loan spell at WBA, Vela was once again shipped out to Spain on loan. This time however, the Mexican decided enough was enough at Arsenal, declaring halfway through his loan spell at current club Real Sociedad that he wished to move permanently.
Real Sociedad signed Vela in 2012 for a reported bargain fee of £4m. During his career for the Basque side, the 24-year-old has netted 34 goals in 89 appearances – a record better than current Gunner Olivier Giroud.
The Mexican striker has improved further this season, scoring eight goals and assisting a further eight in 18 La Liga starts. His form in December was fabulous, netting two goals, one assist and being named MOTM in both of Real Sociedad’s romping victories as the White and Blues went 100% in La Liga over the Christmas period.
Vela’s success at San Sebastian will be celebrated long and hard back in his native Mexico, yet as for the Gunners, perhaps it is another story of ‘what if?’
The Premier League leaders are currently in the market for a striker as injuries have hampered their attacking options over the last month. Therefore, the irony of allowing a rather badly utilised striker to leave for so cheap only to become one of La Liga’s most feared strikers will be a bitter pill to swallow.
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