Mexican forward Carlos Vela has all but closed the door on the return to the Emirates by revealing that he did not enjoy his time in English Premier League.
The highly rated footballer has been mentioned as a possible reinforcement for the Gunners, who can still entertain a buy-back clause for a nominal fee, but it appears the 25-year-old will not be returning to England, let alone Arsenal.
And while the two clubs are in negotiations to remove the clause from the player’s contract, Vela has made it clear that he is perfectly happy at Anoeta, while suggesting he was unhappy during his time in England.
“The majority of (Sociedad) players are from the youth system and this has turned the dressing room into something more familiar,” Vela was quoted as saying.
“The atmosphere is great to the point where after training; we make plans with each other.
“We’re always trying to make the teammate next to you, better and you can see this in every game.
“I never felt comfortable in London and I never enjoyed it. However, when I got to Donostia (San Sebastian) I found a place where I was very happy, where I’m enjoying myself every day.
“The English game is very straightforward. Here, the difference is that there are more touches of the ball and the benefits me.”
While showing a great deal of potential at the Emirates, Vela was never given a real chance to shine by manager Arsene Wenger and eventually left the Gunners for Real Sociedad in the summer of 2012, after spending a season-long loan at Anoeta.
The Mexican has developed into a cracking player during his time in La Liga, having managed 37 goals and 28 assists in 107 league outings. He has in turn caught the eye of Europe’s top clubs, but it appears Vela is quite happy at Real Sociedad, at least for the time being.
After clashing with national team chiefs, Vela has made himself unavailable for selection and has rejected the opportunity to take part at the 2014 World Cup, where Mexico are 11/10 to qualify from Group A, which also contains Brazil, Croatia and Cameroon.