Carlos Vela reflects upon 'three bad years' in England with Arsenal

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Carlos Vela of Arsenal battles for the ball with Pape Diakhate of Dynamo Kiev during the UEFA Champions League Group G match between Arsenal and Dynamo Kiev at the Emirates Stadium on November 25, 2008 in London, England
Photo: Jamie McDonald/GETTY IMAGES

Carlos Vela admits he was desperately unhappy at Arsenal and couldn't wait to leave the Gunners.

Vela was once considered one of the most exciting young players in the world, but showed only flashes of his talent for the North London side.

Awarded 22 appearances in league and Europe in his breakout season of 2008/09, the Mexican forward registered just a single goal before a quiet loan spell at West Bromwich Albion.

It was only when he joined Real Sociedad on loan in 2011 that Vela started to kick on and after making the move permanent a year later, he forged a successful career at San Sebastián, scoring 73 goals in 250 appearances and earning a reputation as a reliable goal-getter in La Liga.

In an interview with GQ Mexico, the 31-year-old has now lifted the lid on the relief he felt when he finally secured a deal to leave Arsenal.

The most important part of my life came in San Sebastián: my new family.

I came from three years of being in London, which I couldn't adapt to. I don't know how to explain it specifically. It was a place I don't have good memories of. I wanted to get out of there.

There I started to enjoy my football again after three such bad years of living in England.

I didn't know anything about the Basque Country. I wanted to leave so much that when I heard I had a good offer to play and leave England, it was a case of me saying: "I love it! Yes, let's go!"

Vela has been playing for Los Angeles FC since 2018 and has developed a reputation as a sharp-shooter in the MLS.

In 71 outings for LAFC, he has found the net on 57 occasions and has chipped in a further 23 assists.

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