Liverpool could bring former Arsenal attacker back to the Premier League.
Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers is reportedly eyeing up a surprise move to bring former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela back to the Premier League from Real Sociedad.
The Mexican striker had a strange seven year spell at Arsenal between 2005 and 2012, spending much of his time at the club out on loan, initially to earn a work permit to make him eligible to play in England, and later due to being unable to force his way into Arsene Wenger’s first team plans.
Signed when he was just 17, he was thought of as an exciting young talent at the Emirates Stadium, which is why Wenger was willing to wait two years for him as he spent time on loan with Spanish clubs Salamanca and Osasuna to attain permission to play in the Premier League.
However, he was given limited opportunities to impress when he eventually linked up with the Arsenal team. The pacey and skillful forward looked impressive when he was used in Wenger’s young League Cup squads, scoring a memorable lob against Wigan Athletic that earned him rave reviews. Still, he was for some reason unable to reproduce this in the more important Premier League and Champions League games.
The 24-year-old then spent time on loan at West Brom in 2011, but failed again to make much of an impression, scoring just two goals in eight appearances for the Baggies.
A more impressive loan spell followed next season back in La Liga with Real Sociedad, leading the club to make a permanent offer for him, with Wenger perhaps feeling Vela was a player more suited to the Spanish game than the more physical style in England.
However, Reds boss Rodgers does not seem to share this view, and is considering moving for Vela after the forward continued his fine form for Sociedad this season. The Mexico international has played mostly as a wide forward, and has scored an impressive 14 goals in La Liga, putting him among the top ten scorers in Spain. He has also shown a creative side, with 9 assists for the club this year.
Liverpool now see him as a good option alongside Luis Suarez and Daniel Sturridge next season, as they are short of other options upfront and have often relied on Suarez to provide the goals this season. Players like Suso and Fabio Borini have not really shown themselves as capable backups, and that could open a door for Vela, who would suit Rodgers’ technical and attack-minded style of play.
Arsenal have been linked with re-signing Vela, as they have a buy-back clause in his contract, and they would likely take a share of whatever fee Liverpool pay for him if they do decide to target him.
Vela is one of many strikers to be linked with a move to Anfield this summer, alongside Porto’s Jackson Martinez and Aston Villa’s Christian Benteke.