By Avenell Dave
I remember a few years ago, when Carlos Vela was ripping a new backside in Real Madrid defenders and others in Primera Liga, that I told friends what an incredible signing he would be for Arsenal.
I was convinced that with his pace and trickery he could terrorise defences and prove to be another unearthed gem from the Arsene Wenger school of discoveries.
When he then took Sheffield United apart in the Carling Cup a couple of seasons ago, I was convinced I was right, but it just hasn't happened for him since then.
Whether it's been injuries, his inability to stay on his feet and hold of the robust challenges that are part and parcel of the Premier League or incurring Le Boss's ire by forgetting his passport before a Champions League game, it's fair to say Vela's career at Arsenal has never really taken off.
When the Mexican hinted at the weekend that he will look at his options after the World Cup, it suggests that he is unhappy at the amount of time he gets to play under Wenger - and who can blame him?
Much has been made of Theo Walcott's removal from the England squad and while many were surprised, it's fair to say that the combination of a stop-start couple of years inhibited by injuries and a lack of football intelligence (yes, Chris Waddle was right) meant it was no surprise when he was ommitted.
My fellow Addict Graham McNorthbank has been saying for years that he doesn't believe Theo has what it takes - he's all about pace and has few tricks to get past people.
When you look at when he has been at his most devastating, it tends to come (Croatia apart) later in the game on the counter-attack when limbs are tired and he uses his speed to get past players.
Would Vela have shown himself to be good enough if he had had the opportunities Walcott has enjoyed at Arsenal?
Having seen his goal against Italy yesterday, a first time shot that beat Gianluigi Buffon,(watch it here) I started to wonder if Vela shuoldn't be given more of a chance at Arsenal.
Most Addicts have come to accept that Eduardo has struggled with form and fitness since the Birmingham injury and it wouldn't be a surprise if he was sold this summer to rebuld his career elsewhere.
But maybe, just maybe, Wenger should give Vela a chance next season to fill our fourth striking berth.
Mexico won't go too far in the World Cup so he won't be too tired but he will have learnt from playing at the highest level against a wide range of defenders.
If he can just bulk up and learn to fend off physical assaults rather than looking hopelessly at officials for free kicks that never were, he might just be the player I hoped he would be when he made such an impact in Spain.