Carlos Vela sparked speculation about a move back to Arsenal this week by saying:
‘Arsenal can come back for me at €4million (£3.3m) at any time, which is €1million more than Real Sociedad paid. I look at things differently these days and I won’t close the door on Arsenal, or any team in England. I think I’m better prepared to play in another country now.’ (Mail). He also went on to add that any other club would have to pay £24.6m to acquire his services. But would he be a worthwhile signing?
There’s no denying that the price is a big plus for a player who has 19 goals and 13 assists this season, playing predominately on the wing, an excellent return. His versatility is also attractive, as a player who can play on the last man and be played through, or as a more creative winger, whether it be on the left, or an inverted one, and he would offer an upgrade on Sanogo as backup for Giroud, who looked in need of a rest towards the end of March. His finishing has improved much since his Arsenal days, when a delicate chip was his trademark, but he frustrated fans with his profligacy; all change this season, scoring 14 league goals from 61 shots, a fine record. His fitness record is near impeccable this season, playing 34 of Sociedad’s 35 league games this season. Additionally he has the benefit of knowing the club, and he’s definitely come on a lot since he left Arsenal, as a player, especially with his decision making and movement
However, with Arsenal’s style of football evolving to bring as many midfielders into play as possible, Vela’s slight physique wouldn’t make him a perfect fit up front, and his hold up play is practically non-existent. Up front I wouldn’t place him ahead of the much maligned Giroud, as Giroud has, in my opinion, generally done very well for the Gunners this season, scoring 21 goals, and he has become an integral part of our system. His arrival would almost certainly signal the exit of Podolski, Arsenal’s most lethal finisher and a firm fan’s favourite, and it’s debatable whether he’s better than the German. But all in all, I’d be delighted to welcome him back, as he gives us more quality options up front, something with we have sorely missed this season, and his pace, either playing on the last man or on the full back would be a hugely valuable asset, especially with the pedestrian Podolski on the left, where our game can tend to slow down on occasion. If Arsenal’s forward line was bolstered by Vela and a true striker, Arsenal could well challenge strongly for the league next season.
Would you take him back? Comment below | Follow the author on Twitter: @gunnerblogger97 | Photo via Ronnie MacDonald