Arsene Wenger was given a lot of stick for letting the Arsenal striker Joel Campbell go out on loan to Sporting Lisbon, despite not having brought in a suitable replacement (at the time), but now the player himself has admitted that it was his own decision to leave Arsenal in the search for more regular playing time.
Campbell told Costa Rican newspaper Nacion: “I made that decision because I’m at an important stage in my football life, an ideal age to grow.”
“When I realised I was not going to play as much as I wanted I thought it would be better to go on loan. In reality going on loan has been my request.
“I have ambition, I want to play, and I love football. Truth is I don’t feel comfortable not playing every Sunday. I don’t want to settle for less.
‘Another person could stay at Arsenal, have a good wage, live in a nice city and not playing, but I prefer to leave comfort aside and fight for my dreams. I want to prove I have what is needed to play the game.
“The coach told me he would have liked me to stay, but playing is my priority and if I’m not 100% on his plans then I prefer to go on loan and play football.”
What Wenger said… “I believe that he’s a bit of a victim of the size of the squad. He is now at an age where he needs to play more regularly and I don’t rule out that he comes back here and plays. He has gone to Sporting Lisbon and I think it’s an interesting championship. Portugal always has an interesting championship and let’s see how it goes for him.”
You have to admire the fact that Campbell believes he is good enough to be in the first team every week, and if he can’t get that at Arsenal then he is making the best decision for his career. The only think I don’t understand is why Wenger doesn’t think he is good enough to be a regular starter, after his improved performances last season….