The Costa Rican forward Joel Campbell has made it clear in the past that he would rather move away from Arsenal to get first team football rather than sit on the bench at the Emirates, but Arsene Wenger refused to let him leave again this summer.
Now he has got his chance as injuries have decimated the squad yet again, and he has chances of getting a prolonged run in the team, he has spoken out, saying that he is prepared to fight for his place and wait for Wenger to decide when he is ready to play.
Campbell said yesterday: “Obviously as a player you always want to play, but we have lots of very good players here so you have to be patient and make the most of your opportunity when it comes around.
“I’m happy playing in any position. I can play centrally, but I feel comfortable on the right too and I just try to do the best job I can.”
He was then asked directly if he still wanted to leave the club. He replied: “No, I’m an Arsenal player and I’m very happy here. I’m fighting to achieve my aims and hope to stay here for a long time.
“You never know in football. I’m just focusing on playing and doing as well as I can, then it’s up to the manager to make the decisions.
Joel was then asked if Wenger had said anything specific about him joining the first team, and he replied: “Just the normal sort of thing. If I’m playing it’s because he has confidence in me so I just try to do the best job I can.
“I’m trying to take advantage of my opportunity but I know that what happens next is up to the manager. As I’ve said, I’m just focusing on playing and performing as well as possible and the rest is up to him.”
This last summer I was very surprised that Wenger kept Campbell here against his will, as I thought Joel would not have his heart set on fighting for the team, so I’m really glad that Le Prof stuck to his guns and made Campbell stick to his contract. Now it is up to the player himself to prove he is true Arsenal quality……