Kevin Campbell defends Arsenal’s pursuit of relegated player

Recent reports have linked Timothy Castagne with a potential move to Arsenal, although there are critics who question whether he is the calibre of player the Gunners should be targeting.

Despite finishing close to winning the Premier League last season, Arsenal fans have high expectations for squad improvements, particularly with top-quality players.

Castagne, who was part of the Leicester City side that suffered relegation, has drawn mixed reactions from Arsenal supporters. Some are sceptical about signing a player from a relegated team, doubting his ability to make a significant impact.

However, former Arsenal player Kevin Campbell believes that Castagne could thrive at the Emirates, drawing a parallel with Gabriel Martinelli’s arrival at the club as a relatively unknown player who later proved his worth.

“Martinelli wasn’t a sexy name when we signed him,” said Campbell on the Highbury Squad.  

“Any time I have seen him (Castagne), he has been alright.

“What people have to understand is, you can’t have a team of superstars. You need purpose players. Players that are fit for purpose. Players that come in and do the job. Unsung, but do the job. 

“This is what builds out your squad. These are the names that build out your squad.”

Just Arsenal Opinion

Judging players quickly is not a smart idea because anyone could do well when moving to a different club.

Most players at Leicester did not have a good season, but they might leave the Foxes and become stars at another club.

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Tags Timothy Castagne


  1. I agree with Kevin Campbell. The gaffer does not make knee jerk signing requests. I cannot remember seeing Castagne play, but I am confident in the process and believe that if there is smoke to accompany the fire, Arsenal will benefit.

  2. The biggest mistake teams make when they take a step up, or need to improve is to sign a bunch of stars; the way Chelsea did. The resulting 12th place was an indictment not only of their recruitment, but their management.

    Having a team full of established galacticos is a very different managerial task than coaching a bunch of young, hungry players. Pep Guardiola’s real genius is his ability to maintain a level of harmony in a dressing room full of massive egos and top, top players.

    If we look at the choice between Joao Cancelo and Timothy Castagne at right back; the decision is not just about the quality of the two players, but the implication for the players you have. If you sign Cancelo, it will be to walk into the starting XI. That puts Ben White out of a job and demotes Takehiro Tomiyasu to squad player status. Both would probably ask to leave. Even if only one left, you haven’t actually strengthened the side, you just moved people in and out.

    Signing Castagne, however, is less confrontational. He would expect to battle for minutes. White and Tomiyasu might both feel they could compete against Castagne. Whether they could or not is debatable, but none of the three is in the same class as Cancelo.

    The same thing playing out on the left side of the Gunner’s defense. Zinchenko came in and he was obviously promised minutes, because Tierney did not, based on performance, deserve to be demoted. Tierney wants to leave. Does anyone think that Arsenal can sign a left back as good as Tierney who will be willing to sit behind Zinchenkjo for the next five years? Tierney will leave, Arsenal will sign a replacement, and but on the whole, even if Zinchonko is better than Tierney, the left back position will be weaker.

    1. Paul,another advantage of signing Castagne is that he can play left back as well so he’ll always get play time. Perhaps that’s the reason why Cancelo is targeted too. Both of these players can play on either flank – then you have Tomiyasu who can do that as well. This eliminates the need to replace Tierney with yet another player. I have always thought having too big a squad isn’t good for team harmony. Having 17-19 versatile players means you can have two or three players in each position without a bloated squad. The remaining slots in the squad can then be filled by young prospects from the academy or elsewhere. This is what Guardiola does and it works for him. People often say City can field two quality elevens but that’s hardly true. It’s more of a tight group of 16-18 quality and mostly versatile players.

  3. Hell no, this must not and should not be our first signing.

    Our first signing should be one who inspires confidence.

    A team that just miss out on the big jug should be concentrating on strengthening the spine first.

  4. Kevin Campbell speaks sense regarding a team of superstars – that’s why a player like Elneny or Holding are so essential to a squad and I believe they know that.

    I don’t know enough about the player himself, but I’m sure MA does.

    1. And we all knew what happened after Holding took to the pitch! Kiwor is the right choice going forward. Get rid of Holding even for 2 GBP, not worth investing money on training him. Good lad, poor footballing skills, period! Cancelo or Castagne, let the maestro decide, will welcome either with arms open wide.

      1. I believe we beat chelsea in the cup final, when Holding bullied Costa the whole game.
        Along with Mertesaker, who had been injured for nearly the whole season, he was magnificent – your quite correct, the maestro kept the faith and we lifted the cup once again under his guidance.

  5. He’s a very good defender, an international, who can play on both sides of the back four, if modestly priced I think he will be an excellent addition.

  6. Arsene Wenger was an unknown to EPL or any of us fans when he was signed as Manager. same with several players that ended up as Invincibles. Ramsdale came from a lower team, see what he has brought to the team. So, let’s have confidence in the technical crew and management as well; and support them to do what they see as fit to advance the fortunes of the club. Up Gunners

  7. @Paul

    You are ignoring the fact that White & Thomiyasu are different players to what Cancelo is.White & Tomiyasu are considered more as convential fullbacks whereas Cancelo i would say an ‘specialist inverted LB’. Same with Zinchenko & Tierny.

    So my hypothesis is that diff kind of players will suit diff kind of setups ie. (plan A & plan B). So by buying Cancelo would in fact only strengthen the team as the coach would be more flexible & the team less predictable.

    Your theory about White wanting to leave because of disharmony issues i want to further dispute as both of them will most likely play in the same team. White would be the cover for Cancelo when he gallops into midfield from RB. Also Tomiyasu if fit would get enough gametime regardihg rotation. +20 games (ceteris paribus).

    So for me Castagna would not add anything to the team as he also a conventional fullback and we are covered in that position as you knw.

    ps. i hope ur comment about Chelsea isn’t going to bite u back. Their recruitment was good just over the top maybe ito quantity. For me politics & bad management was the cause of their demise.

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