Carlos Vela 22 Striker Real Sociedad
Still on this list and still young enough to make a huge impact somewhere but we can’t help but think that at 22, Vela has all but missed the bus.
Opportunities to get a good run going in Arsene Wenger’s first team never really occurred and a succession of loan periods, the most recent with West Bromwich Albion, must have been unsettling.
Vela has often been talked about as a striker who doesn’t have to score, the theory being he creates far more than he puts away, but the evidence to back this up is slowly getting thinner on the ground. Still technically an Arsenal player, Vela is now with Real Sociedad for the season and despite being a regular starter for his country, comparisons between fellow Mexicans Vela and Gio Dos Santos against Javier Hernandez show a gulf in class. Manchester has worked well for one, North London disastrously for the others.
We wish him luck for the season ahead but Vela possesses the haunted demeanour of a striker forever destined to play for sides in the lower reaches of La Liga at best.
“Burst onto the scene with ‘that’ hat-trick against Sheffield United but has failed to kick on. Others around him at club and country have excelled and left him far, far behind” – Ryan Keaney (The Football Project)
E Time is ticking Carlos, it really is now or never.