Trust me, Carlos Vela is one talented footballer.

But most of you may not agree because you have witnessed very little of him. And that is not your fault.

It is very difficult to accurately judge a player whom you rarely catch in action, and the fact that Vela has only ever made just TWO Premier League starts in his career is alarming.

Even in those two league starts, Vela managed a goal-scoring percentage of 50% – scoring in his first ever start at Portsmouth in May 2009 and firing a blank in his second bow at Blackburn last season.

As of May 2010, Vela has scored 8 goals in 16 starts during his two years as an Arsenal player. That is another impressive 50% scoring ratio. Also, in five appearances in the Carling Cup  – where he enjoys most action – Vela has netted five goals.

I personally feel the youngster has always been something special waiting to break out of its shell, and like all spectators of the Mexican national team will attest, he is one player who will shine anywhere, at any club.

That said, you can sell or loan him to Fulham today, and if he does play football every Saturday over there, you will end up wanting him back in a heartbeat.

This insightful post is been written in the wake of Eduardo’s exit and Vela’s change of squad number. For once, hopefully next campaign, Carlos may get his opportunity.

In fact, I cannot think of any other player in the squad who is deprived of playing time more than this guy. His duties with Mexico are not helping at all and for whatever reason, even when he IS available, Wenger enjoys playing him only when there is just a handful of minutes left on the clock in matches.

That is quite unfair, and therefore, Vela’s case is NOT a lack of ability (like some frustrated critics think) but a lack of chances.

Ntoice how you sometimes get sick of the sight of some players’ names in the line-up because you just cannot figure out what Wenger sees in them? Flamini in 2007/08 (until he later emerged out of Gilberto’s shadows), Alex Song in the past, perhaps Diaby and even Bendtner all spring to mind.

They all fall in the category of players whose contributions you may never have realized had Wenger not been so stubborn with his faith in them. Sometimes, the boss plays these guys so much that you jokingly call them his ‘boyfriends’.

Just imagine if he did the same with Vela.

Carlos has never gotten even three straight starts during his time at Arsenal, and as much as we may note his flaws if he was to play week in, week out, we may also learn his qualities.

The 21-year-old’s contributions at Arsenal are normally assessed only during cameos – when we expect him to do wonders as we chase a game with only a few minutes left.

And don’t even dare to argue that Vela got is chances when Van Persie went down last season because it was in fact, Edurado, who benefited in playing time. Vela’s only starts upfront during Van Persie’s long lay-off came in cup competitions. Wenger simply went with Arshavin/Eduardo upfront during that spell and Vela remained down the pecking order.

Again, his international responsibilities has played a big role in this, especially the way he often comes back with niggling injuries, but there are times when he has been available for selection and was overlooked.

So my point here is; only judge Carlos when you get to see him almost every week like you do with Bendtner, Denilson and company.

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