Should Arsenal have kept Joel Campbell?

Joel Campbell receiving mix reviews in Portugal!

There had been a lot of faith in Joel Campbell when the Costa Rican first arrived at Arsenal. Having spent the first few years of his career bouncing around different clubs on loan whilst he awaited a work permit to be approved in England, it seemed as if he was still going to be worth the wait.

After 3 years of loans, there were a few feelings that Campbell wasn’t going to get a chance to show what he was capable of at Arsenal, but the player’s impressive World Cup campaign with Costa Rica in 2014, kept the Gunners faith that we had a real future gem on our hands. Campbell finally got his chance at Arsenal that season, albeit a very irregular spot in the squad. A year later and he was a bit more of a regular feature, but there seemed to be something between the forward and Wenger that was holding the player back. Then he was surprisingly loaned out for this campaign, on the back of a much improved season at Arsenal.

Campbell is spending this year on loan at Sporting CP in Portugal and so far the Costa Rican has had a bundle of mixed reviews. In the club’s most recent match, a 3-0 win over Arouca on Sunday, Campbell managed to score his 3rd goal in six league games and also grabbed his first assist of the season. It’s not bad stats for a player of his age and position, however the fact that he’s only managed six league games, four of which have been starts, since joining the side in the summer, makes you wonder why Campbell cannot catch a break with the managers he plays under.

Campbell has dropped in and out of favour at Sporting this season, meaning that much like at Arsenal, the forward has been left on the bench or out of the squad completely. Many felt it was a surprise that Campbell left on loan this summer and personally I felt it was the wrong decision given his performances in an Arsenal shirt last season. However Wenger and seemingly other managers as well share the opinion that he doesn’t quite do enough to warrant a regular place in the team.

There have been a few rumours reported in the past that Campbell may not get along with a lot of his managers, potentially due to an attitude problem that might come from not regularly playing. However we as the fans haven’t really seen any evidence of that and therefore it remains a mystery behind why Campbell isn’t given the chance to shine on a regular basis.

Should Arsenal have kept Campbell this season? Surely he could’ve done more of a worthwhile job as a rotation player in our busy schedule, rather than playing for a club where he is struggling to get regular minutes anyway.



  1. Arsenal_Girl says:

    I think about “Should haves” at the end of the season
    If we win trophies, then Wenger did the right thing
    If we don’t then we can examine what Wenger did wrong

    1. Olivier's toe says:

      Whether we win things or not, Wenger was definitely wrong to keep Debuchy and Sanogo taking up space in the squad. A total waste of time and money as far as I’m concerned.

      1. G-Rude says:

        I agree. Get rid of both in January. Please Arsene!

  2. Alexis the Great says:

    It’s a shame that Joel didn’t stay, but it appears that he really doesn’t like being on the bench at all, so like Wilshere he’s probably better off being a big fish in a small pond.

    But both of them will regret not staying when we end up Premier League champs come the end of the season!

    1. Olivier's toe says:

      Campbell has signed a contract and should honour it.
      Wenger should have made him fight for his place and sent Sanogo to somewhere like Rotherham!

    2. bran99 says:

      but i thought he was frozen on the bench no matter how he performs. some people (ie. Ramsey) were always ahead of him in the pecking order no matter how fluffy they play. wouldn’t you get mad if you really care about your career and not only about money?

  3. G-Rude says:

    If Joel had still been here he could have been extra backup for Giroud for the next few weeks.

  4. jermaineBryan says:

    The attitude problem label is always given to black players, it is a stereotypical perception . Campbell has been nothing but profeshional especially seeing underperforming players such as Walcott n oxlade always preferred to him even though they were inferior last season.

    Personality I think Lisbon was the wrong move as they have one of there most exciting prospect gelson martins on the right wing (there best attacking player)

    Campbell has started the last game as a striker were he was arguably the stand out player and getting a goal, he has also started 2 on the left

  5. Mark_K says:

    As much as I want Oxlade-Chamberlain to succeed I think Campbell would have been a better player to keep at the club this season.

  6. Wilshegz says:

    We should have loaned Ox to Soton and retained Campbell

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