Vela can be 'world-class'

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Vela: Backed by Wenger

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Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger believes Mexican teenager Carlos Vela can be a world-class striker.

Vela had three separate loan spells in Spain before he was granted a work permit to play for the Gunners this season.

The 19-year-old has already shown glimpses of his talent after he netted a hat-trick in September's 6-0 Carling Cup win over Sheffield United.

He is expected to start in the fourth round of the competition against Wigan Athletic on Tuesday night and Wenger is hopeful Vela will seize his forthcoming opportunities to impress.

"He is naturally gifted, quick, intelligent and with very good technique, so you now want him to add that combative, determined side that makes the difference," Wenger said.

"He'll quickly be a world-class striker when he adds that to his game. Some day we all get our chance - the target is to take that chance when you get it, and he has the potential to do that."

English talent

Despite often looking abroad for talent, Wenger insists he has many up-and-coming English youngsters at his disposal.

"Jack Wilshere scored a good goal (in the last round), and we know that people will be following his progress because there is a big expectation level here for English players to be produced," said the Frenchman.

"There is such big love for the national team that people want to see big players coming out from the top clubs and we are happy to do that.

"And it is not only Jack - we had a lot of good English players on the pitch (in the last round) such as Mark Randall, Gavin Hoyte and Kieran Gibbs.

"They have all done very, very well - recently I feel we've produced very good English players, and I think that quality-wise we are now more complete than ever."