News broke last week that Arsenal would bring Carlos Vela back to North London this summer for a cut-price £3.3million.
Reports claimed the Gunners were set to activate a clause in the Mexican’s contract that allowed them to pay that amount to his current club Real Sociedad and they would have no choice but to accept.
Vela has enjoyed a fruitful spell in La Liga, and this season he netted 20 goals in 51 appearances. But the story begged the question: Is Vela the answer to Arsenal’s striker issues or would his arrival see the return of the more frugal, risk-free Arsene Wenger we saw prior to Mesut Ozil’s club-record signing?
There is no doubt Vela is a quality striker. But is he the best Arsenal can get? He is certainly among the cheapest. But if the Gunners do bring Vela back to the Emirates Stadium he will want game-time; something Wenger would surely assure him of if a move is forthcoming.
With Olivier Giroud and Lukas Podolski already in place and Theo Walcott due back from injury next season, would Wenger move for two new strikers?
It seems unlikely, meaning that a cut-price if effective Vela would be signed in place of any of the mega-money strikers previously linked, including the likes of Mario Mandzukic, Jackson Martinez and the seemingly Chelsea-bound Diego Costa.
It may be the canniest piece of business Wenger does all summer. But as Arsenal look to push on both domestically and in Europe, in order to prevent another league campaign like the most recent one, surely bringing in a player who can score 30-plus goals each year – with Martinez the prime and achievable candidate – would be a smarter move than filling that striking position with a player who in essence is no more prolific than what Arsenal already have.