El Centrocampista

Sociedad push forward, but could they be about to lose Vela?

With double figures to his name already, it is no surprise that in-form striker Carlos Vela has caught the eye of former club Arsenal who could activate a €4m buy-back clause.

Having only signed on a permanent basis for Sociedad seven months ago, the Mexican has notched up an impressive 12 goals and 10 assists in La Liga this season and has left many at the Aneota Stadium anxious as to whether they will be able to keep hold of their star asset. If the 24 year old is to return to the Emirates Stadium then his young career will already have gone full circle.

Arsene Wenger signed the Mexican striker in late 2005 but due to work permit restrictions he was subject to a series of loan spells. He spent time at Salamanca and Osasuna before eventually returning to Arsenal in 2008. Despite being evident that Vela was talented, for one reason or another, he never seemed to find his feet at Arsenal scoring just 11 times in 62 appearances, stats that he has already beaten this season.

It is understood that Vela is happy with his current situation at Sociedad; however reports in Spain suggest that Vela has done enough to convince the Arsenal boss that he is ready for a return. Sociedad are unbeaten since early January when they narrowly lost to Real Madrid in a 4-3 thriller at the Bernabeu. Currently sitting in fourth place in La Liga, two points ahead of Valencia and with Champions League football a realistic option, it should come as no surprise that Vela is not enthused by a possible move back to The Emirates.

Speaking to the Daily Express, Vela said: “I’ve never regretted signing for Real and the results prove me right.”

“I think my decision to stay at Real is looking more and more like the right one. I’ve never regretted coming back. I came because I trusted the team and I thought we could get better”.

“The team has proven that it is very good, that we have excellent players and we can compete with anyone. “I’m talking about giving more, not just this season, but over the coming years. I think the team can improve even more. We can do better than we are now.”

However if Arsene Wenger does decide to exercise a €4m buy-back clause there may be little Sociedad can do with their only realistic hope of keeping Vela lying at the remote possibility of the club cancelling the buy-back option in his contract.

With Arsenal not likely to take this lightly, one bargaining tool could come in the shape of Vela’s 21 year old teammate Antoine Griezman. The French winger is also rumored to be a target of The Gunners and with seven goals to his name this season, may be enough to tempt Wenger away from Vela.

Re-signing Vela would always be a risky option for Wenger and there is a big chance that he may decide against it. It seems that Vela’s attributes are more suited to La Liga, and the sheer physicality of the Premier League may have been holding Vela back. Vela will aim to keep up his scoring record, as Sociedad travel away to Espanyol in their next match.

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