The tension has been building between the Arsenal fringe players Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell and the manager Arsene Wenger all season, if you believe what you read in the papers. The young Costa Rican international has claimed that he is happy to fight for his place in the Gunners team, but we keep hearing rumours that he is not happy and wants to move on if he does not start playing more.
Our German World Cup winning striker has made no secret of his own frustration, although Wenger has recently declared that Podolski is still part of his plans. But that may not be strictly true or the Frenchman may have changed his mind, according to a report in The Times. The paper claims that the two Arsenal forwards will be allowed to leave in the January transfer window and there are plenty of clubs around Europe lining up to take them.
Campbell’s move could still be a loan move, possibly to a Premier League club to gain him some experience, with Everton and West Brom set to battle for his signature. But some fans will be concerned that Wenger is leaving the Arsenal squad at risk of being exposed, yet again, to a key player or two getting injured and then maybe struggling to replace the two in the transfer market next summer.
But two of the young strikers on Arsenal’s books could be the reason why the boss is not worried about losing Podolski and Campbell. Chuba Akpom has really come on this season. He scored a hat-trick against Brighton last night and that took his goal tally to eight in just nine games and he has already played for the first team this season in the League cup, so the talented 19-year old is very close and could soon find himself on the bench a lot more often.
And then we have Benik Afobe. The 21-year old has gone goal crazy since his loan move to MK Dons this season. Another hat-trick at the weekend took his total to 18 goals already from just 23 games and only 14 of those were starts.
Are these two young Guns the reason why Wenger is not going to stand in the way of Podolski and Campbell leaving Arsenal in January?