Vela, a rising star and winner of the Golden Boot at 2005 FIFA U17 World Championship – which he helped his national team, Mexico, win – signed for Arsenal in November 2005. Following a series of loan spells in Spain, he returned to England, work permit in hand, for the 2008/09 season.
The young striker made his competitive debut for Arsenal in a Premier League match against Newcastle and, despite the usual struggles associated with adapting to a new league, went on to feature in nearly thirty matches in all competitions. His season highlights included a scintillating second half hat-trick in a September League Cup appearance versus Sheffield United and a delightful chip over the goalkeeper in an FA Cup Fifth Round tie against Burnley.
With the ability to play up front as well as out wide, Vela could be a key figure in Arsenal's 2009/10 campaign. A likely increased role for his club coupled with his now regular international duties will ensure that Vela has ample opportunity to display and, Arsenal fans will be hoping, to fulfil his undoubted talent.
Newcastle United (h) Premier League, August 30, 2008, Won 3-0
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