Mexico international Vela joined Arsenal as a teenager in 2005 but spent most of his football education on loan at various Spanish sides.
He had two seasons with the Gunners, scoring 11 goals in 64 appearances, before a miserable loan spell at West Brom, where he netted just two league goals in eight games.
It was only when he joined Real Sociedad on loan in 2011 that Vela started to kick on, and after making the move permanent a year later he forged a successful career at San Sebastian, scoring 73 goals in 250 appearances.
"The most important part of my life came in San Sebastian: my new family," said 31-year-old Vela in an an interview with GQ.
“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.