One of the Gunners’ ex-strikers has revealed that his move to the club was indeed something that he was not ready for in what happened to be a ‘very difficult’ time in his career.
During the reign of Arsene Wenger, the former Arsenal boss maintained a tradition of keeping faith in young players who were purchased for cheap prices and nurtured into stars.
The Frenchman decided to secure the services of Carlos Vela 15 years ago with the Mexican youngster being touted as one of the next superstars of the game after a string of promising displays for the Mexican youth team.
Following several loan spells, Vela returned to the club in 2008 with his best performances coming in the League Cup. However, the striker was behind the likes of Nicklas Bendtner and Emmanuel Adebayor in the pecking order during the 2008/09 campaign.
Wenger remained reluctant to hand Vela enough playing time and eventually, the left-footed forward ended his stay at the Emirates stadium.
In a very honest interview, the Mexican star – who has now rediscovered his best form in the MLS – has revealed he was never actually ready for his move to Arsenal.
“Before the 2005 World Cup, I was just a young man following his dreams trying to reach the First Division in Mexico and do something good in soccer,” he told the Inside LAFC podcast, relayed by Medio Tempo.
“But after that, I went to London, to sign for Arsenal. I was not ready for that, everything was too fast, and I was very young. It was a very difficult moment for me.
“I would not say that it was a moment of great pressure, but mentally you are not prepared for so much.
“It was a difficult moment because you need time to process everything and start getting down and being normal, the first year it was difficult to be myself, to enjoy life and play, to be normal.
“But when you start you feel that you are the best of all and that you can do everything and nobody can tell you anything, that was the first mistake I made, over the years I was a better person and a better player.”