Young Joel Campbell joined Arsenal as a talented 16 year-old with great promise shown with the Costa Rica national side. In the five years since then he has played 40 times for his country, but only had a paltry 4 appearances for the Gunners. Perhaps things would have been different if Campbell had been granted a work permit to develop at Arsenal, but instead he has had three years of loans at Lorient, Real Betis and Olympiacos before finally being allowed to join Arsenal’s first team.
While away in Europe, Campbell became used to playing regularly and famously scored for Olympiakos in a Champions League match against Man United, and he arrived at the Emirates expecting Arsene Wenger to give him some opportunities to use his talent. But it was not quite as expected, and after a couple of early appearances, Campbell, along with Podolski, was left out in the cold with even Sanogo preferred when the Gunners had half the team out injured.
So it’s little wonder that he became frustrated and forced Wenger to send him out on loan again, this time to Villarreal in La Liga. Now his agent (and father) thinks he will be moved on. Campbell senior has put his son’s name forward to Benfica, who tried to sign him last summer. “I don’t know if they talked to Arsenal, but I think Benfica could be the right club for Campbell to show his worth,” he said.
“It’s a good team, which gives young players a lot of opportunities. They’re always in the Champions League and won their league 2 years in a row.”
“It’s an important club, where he can play and grow as a player and eventually return to a club like Arsenal, a club from one of the top leagues.”
“For now Joel has to show up at Arsenal. Wenger will then decide whether to sell him. Last summer he was about to sign with Benfica but Wenger decided he wanted to keep him in the end… and then he signed Welbeck.”
Wenger now has to decide whether to sell Campbell or send him on loan again, but I think Le Prof has already chosen to get rid at a profit. Bt I can’t help thinking that it may have all turned out differently if young Campbell had’ve got that work permit and learned his trade under Wenger……