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By ESPN Staff
Aug 5, 2007

Young Gunner Vela joins Osasuna on loan

Arsenal youngster Carlos Vela is looking forward to testing himself in the Spanish Primera Liga next season after joining Osasuna on a year-long loan deal.

The 18-year-old Mexican striker has joined last year's UEFA Cup semi-finalists from the Gunners, becoming the Pamplona-based club's sixth summer signing in the process.

Vela spent last term on loan at Spanish Segunda Division side Salamanca, but the teenager is not worried about making the step up to the top flight.

'This level does not frighten me. It is a dream for me,' he said. 'I played in the second division and now I face a new challenge. Osasuna is a good place to show my ability.'

Vela is also hoping to get his chance to impress Osasuna coach Jose Angel Ziganda as soon as possible, with first-team places in the team's forward line up for grabs following a summer of change at the Reyno de Navarra.

Out have gone four of last year's strikeforce of Roberto Soldado, Savo Milosevic, Bernardo Romeo and Pierre Webo, while the likes of Javier Portillo, Nicolas Medina, Walter Pandiani and Vela have been drafted in.

'Everybody wants to play in the starting 11. I have the opportunity to have playing time with a team which are always fighting for the UEFA Cup places, and that is very important,' Vela said.

Osasuna sporting director Juan Jose Lorenzo said of the youngster, who impressed in the recent Under-20 World Cup in Canada: 'I want to thank Arsenal, Carlos and his advisors for their confidence in us.

'We think that Osasuna is a good place to develop and at the same time he can help us. We hope that he shows here everything he has shown at his other clubs.'