It would be a mistake by Arsenal to not resign Carlos Vela
By Nathan Russell (@nathanhrussell)
Before Arsenal’s season has even finished, transfer rumours have been coming thick and fast this week. It was reported on Wednesday that former gunner Carlos Vela was set to return to the club for a meagre £3.3m due to a buy-back clause that Arsène Wenger insisted on when the Mexican left the club back in 2012. This season, Vela has grabbed 15 goals and 12 assists for Real Sociedad in 36 appearances. Considering that his release clause is close to £25m, I would consider it a mistake for the club not to resign the 25-year-old.
What’s the worst-case scenario? Vela comes back to the club and struggles to adapt to the Premier League once more; it has to be said that Arsenal would still make a profit. His Transfermarkt market value is £17.5m and one poor season in England wouldn’t affect it too detrimentally. After having potentially spent just over £3m on a transfer fee and perhaps a similar amount on his wages, bringing Vela back to the club would not hurt the bank balance and would certainly be worth a gamble.
The best-case scenario is that the Mexican would do what he couldn’t when he was last in North London and adapt to the Premier League. Contributing anything like the number of assists and goals for the red and white of Arsenal that he has for Real Sociedad would make the transfer seem like a bargain and a stroke of genius. Vela has predominately played on the wing in La Liga but could provide useful options in a striking role. For a touch over £3m, he would bring depth as well as goals and assists to a club that particularly struggled with scoring in the bigger games this season. I would still like to see another striker brought in. Someone like Alexis Sánchez or Karim Benzema to partner the likes of Vela and Giroud up front would finally see depth in the striking department and would allow Yaya Sanogo to possibly go out on loan.
FA Cup Final
We can’t turn our attention completely to transfers just yet, though, as the small matter of the FA Cup Final lingers on the horizon. Come 5pm on Saturday, Arsenal will line up at Wembley for the final of the world’s best domestic cup competition for the first time in nine years. Per Mertesacker came out last week and said that ‘it wouldn’t be a disaster’ if Arsenal failed to lift their first trophy since 2005 against Hull City. Of course, the big…German isn’t going to entertain any doubt and will want to convey confidence ahead of the big day. As far as I’m concerned, defeat is nothing short of unthinkable and lifting the trophy can provide a platform on which the club could grow and add to this potential success in the future.
A lot has been made as to whether Łukasz Fabiański or Wojciech Szczésny will start in goal at Wembley on Saturday and I believe that the latter will get his chance to atone for his mistake against Birmingham in 2011. On Arsenal’s way to lifting the 2002 FA Cup, Wenger played Richard Wright in every game (bar one, in which Stuart Taylor played) on the way to the final and then played David Seaman in goal against Chelsea. Therefore, it would personally be no surprise to see Szczésny’s name on the teamsheet on Saturday. Fabiański was a starter against Norwich in the league, which I see to have been his farewell appearance for the club. Regardless of who starts between the sticks at Wembley, Arsenal have got a massive opportunity to banish the ghosts of previous finals and usher in a new era and a winning mentality at the club; let’s hope that they seize it.