As a result of injuries to Theo Walcott, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Alexis Sanchez, the Arsenal youngster Joel Campbell has been able to have a consistent run in the team for the first time since joining Arsenal back in the summer of 2011. After as many as four loan spells away from the Emirates, it really does seem as though the Costa Rican has finally established himself as a first-team player.
But reports have emerged claiming that the Gunners boss Arsene Wenger is plotting a move for the Celta Vigo striker Nolito, with a view to use Camplell as a make-weight to push the deal through. Now although suggestions of a swap deal being discussed are perhaps far-fetched at the moment, it must be noted that Celta’s interest in the Arsenal star is genuine, with the player previously having played in La Liga during loan spells at Villareal and Real Betis.
Now although it is unclear whether Arsenal want to sell him in the summer, I must say that in my opinion, Joel Campbell must be retained! While Arsenal do have an abundance of wide players in the squad, I do believe that he will not be surplus to requirements. Since returning to Arsenal, Campbell has made massive strides in terms of his development and hasn’t been discouraged by his numerous loan spells and lack of game-time in North London.
But having said that, it is unlikely that the 23-year-old will see a lot of action once Alexis Sanchez returns from his hamstring injury. But even so, Campbell has proved himself to be a very handy squad player and I believe he can be retained on those grounds. Surely, that would be the general tendency of a club towards a young player who knows he is not first-choice but is still willing to stay and fight for his place in the side.
Besides, Arsenal are bound to have injuries, with both Walcott and Chamberlain being relatively injury prone. So in my opinion, Joel Campbell should certainly remain at the Emirates beyond this season. The player has stepped up when the team needed him and I certainly hope to see him getting more opportunities in the future.