Carlos Vela netted the only goal of the game with a beautiful finish as Real Sociedad downed Real Valladolid 1-0.
The Mexican international has been in superb form this season, displaying an all-round game equal to La Liga’s leading stars.
The 25-year-old joined the Gunners as a teenager, but despite impressing in the youth teams, he found out that first-team opportunities were hard to come by.
Carlos Vela had subsequent loan spells at West Bromwich Albion and Real Sociedad, and following his excellent form in Spain, he asked his agent to negotiate a deal with Arsenal to remain in the Basque country.
Arsene Wenger’s agreement to allow Carlos Vela to permanently sign Carlos Vela for as little as £4 million appeared bizarre, and it has arguably turned out to be one of Wenger’s biggest 'what-if's in recent years.
Vela had an excellent debut season, scoring 14 and assisting a further nine in 35 appearances – helping the team achieve Champions League status.
This season, he looks set to go further. In 27 La Liga starts, Carlos Vela has scored 12 and assisted another nine, contributing to a goal roughly every 115 minutes.
Despite playing more predominantly as a right forward who likes to go out wide, Vela has contributed to more goals than any other Arsenal player this season. Equally, the Mexican’s 61 key passes is only two short of Mesut Ozil’s 63 and 16 more than Arsenal’s next highest Santi Cazorla.
In a season where Arsenal have desperately lacked competition and quick movement in the final third, perhaps a player of Carlos Vela’s ability is the solution to their underlying problem.
Did Arsene Wenger make a mistake in selling Carlos Vela? Would he improve Arsenal’s current XI today?