Former Arsenal striker Carlos Vela says that he has no good memories of playing at the North London side.
Having played 64 times for the Emirates outfit, scoring 11 goals in the process, he finally departed for good in the summer of 2012 to join Real Sociedad, where he had spent the previous year on loan.
He went on to enjoy a successful career with the Basque outfit, netting 73 times in 250 outings and earning a reputation as a reliable goal-getter in La Liga.
In an interview with GQ, he has revealed his relief when he finally sealed a deal to leave the Premier League side.
“The most important part of my life came in San Sebastian: my new family,” he explained. “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 in MLS since 2018 and is one of the league’s outstanding offensive players. In 71 outings for LAFC, he has found the net on 57 occasions and has chipped in a further 23 assists, giving him a decisive action on average in just shy of every fixture he has played.
Now 31, he has quit international football but played 72 times for his country, scoring 19 goals. He helped El Tri to two Concacaf Gold Cup triumphs, first in 2009 and then in 2015.