Carlos Vela could be pushing for a West Bromwich Albion start against Tottenham Hotspur on Saturday, according to coach Michael Appleton.
The Mexican has struggled for first-team chances at The Hawthorns.
A lack of games during March (he was ineligible for the match against parent club Arsenal), coupled with Albion’s need to defend leads has made it difficult for his talents to be accomodated at times.
But his brief cameo against Chelsea last week suggests that better times might be on the horizon.
Appleton would not be surprised to see the loanee push for a place against Tottenham Hotspur when he returns to north London.
He feels the forward can make a significant impact on the club before he returns to Arsenal this summer.
“We were delighted with his 15 or 20 minutes on Saturday,” said Appleton.
“He looks sharp in training and he is a player who can play in two or three different positions and Tottenham is going to be different to Chelsea, albeit they are a team who like to have possession a lot.
“So when we do win possession of the ball back I’d like to think we can be a little more clever than we were in the first half on Saturday and Carlos comes into that category.
“I’m sure he will be in the manager’s thoughts quite heavily after his appearance on Saturday. He has made an impact when he’s come on as a sub and I suppose when you have that ready to come on at any time it’s a bonus for anybody.
“He has scored a couple of goals as a sub and saved us in a couple of games and if he gets an opportunity from the start of a game I’m sure it will be positive from the team’s point of view, because the qualities he’s got technically are as good as anyone.
“He is a Mexican international so he must have some ability, and he’s come from Arsenal, so we’re very aware of his talents and if he gets an opportunity to start the game on Saturday I’m sure he’ll flourish.”