What next for Arsenal’s Joel Campbell?

There are many Arsenal first teamers and peripheral members entering the final year of their contracts this summer, and it would seem that quite a few of them will be put on the market, although there are some that we don’t want to leave.

One player that has fallen out of Wenger’s field of vision is the Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell. He was signed in 2011 as a great prospect after starring for his country, but he failed to be granted a work permit in the UK and was loaned out to Lorient in his first year, and to Real Betis for his second campaign. Even when allowed to finally join Arsenal he was loaned out yet again to Olympiakos where he put in a few fine performances.

This persuaded Wenger to give him a first team chance back at Arsenal, and despite some promising performances he rarely played or scored and after complaining about lack of game time he was sent on loan again after six months to Villarreal, where he scored just once in 15 appearances.

Last year he was finally given a League debut by Wenger and scored the first of 3 goals for the club, but he was yet again sent off on loan to Sporting Lisbon, but could hardly have been called impressive.

It is obvious now that Campbell needs to find a new club for next season, and it sounds like his agent, Joaquim Batica, is now trying to find him a new club. “Arsenal have lent him several times,” Batica said. “but I emphasise that last year he played about 30 matches in all. I think that as a 24-year-old player who has played in the Champions League, played a quarter-final of the World Cup, took part in championships in Spain, France, England, Greece, Portugal, he has a very important background. He continues to work every day to accumulate a significant number of games each year.”

He may be accumulating games, but he is hardly accumulating goals, so where do you think Campbell will finally find his level?



  1. I was impressed with his work rate, but as Wenger always does, if he does not like what he sees on the pitch, he outright freeze the player out. Perez was another example, had a better finish than Walcott and for sure Campbell, never got a run. I wonder if Wenger watch the players before they join the club or just see the stat sheets

    1. Why do fans on this site hate Walcott so much. If I am not mistaken he was our 2nd highest goal scorer last season. Walcott put in some great performances and only did not play due to the change in formation. Walcott is 2x the player ox is. Sure ox beats players but what good is it with no end product. At the end of the day Theo produced the goods better than all of our forwards bar Alexis

      1. I’d raised this issue some time ago.
        Theo is not an excellent dribbler, doesn’t have the best ball control, but proved deadly most times last season. He featured in 37 matches, barely playing full-time, yet he scored 19 goals – that’s a little over 0.5 goals/game. He’s doing his bit to be better, he needs to be encouraged and given some respect.
        He’s had some bad injuries in recent years that some players barely recover from.

        He might not been the ideal first team player but deserves to be in the squad – even if he has to be benched and then start maybe non-league matches.

      2. Where did I say I want Walcott out? I said Perez’s stats were impressive than Walcott’s last year. Also, Walcott gets too much money to give so little output.

  2. With all due respect to Campbell, he is a decent player and a hard working one, but ultimately he isn’t a difference maker, which is what the team needs. The bench already has enough players at his level so time to let him move on and free up his wages for impact players or players close to breaking into the first team (Maitland-Niles, Reine-Adelaide).

  3. He is a hard worker. No doubt
    Decent player
    Not good enough to be a starter here though

  4. Serie A is more suited for his kinda play… Roma should sign him as Salah’s replacement…

  5. Campbell was quality just like Serge Gnabry but it seems wenger had no place for them, id like to see him on our bench next season tho

  6. Joel Campbell is definitely better than Walcott
    but none of them is good enough as starter
    Why does AW keep Walcott? for the wage he gets, he is our worst non-performer

    1. Again I don’t understand how you can compare a player that has hardly scored in their career to player that gave us nearly 20 goals last season. Surely for a winger 20 goals in a season is rather good ?

    2. Joel Campbell is a better all round footballer than Walcott…i will admit…but does anyone here think that if Campbell was playing instead of Walcott last year…he would have scored as many goals? I think Campbell is better Technically but Walcott is better mentally..you know when he is one on one…its a goal not so sure about Campbell…
      Cant believe i’m saying this…i was one of the first people in my group to pick on walcott but after last season…He definitely has goals in him…and in big matches somehow he is in and around the goals/results
      I like Campbell but i think he was actually let go to give a shot for the Ox to make a regular spot which i think the Ox has done.

  7. Would really love to know what Wenger thinks of Campbell. Every time i’ve seen him play he puts 100% into his game, great passer of the ball, great vision and a great work rate. He’s better than Walcott on the left or right of an attacking three, right? Is it a communication problem? Walcott is too predictable and doesn’t score enough or do enough against the bigger teams. If he does score against a big team he seems to stop working as hard (‘my job is done for the night’)? Admittedly Campbell has a poor shot, but his link up play and passing ability and team contribution is much better than Walcott’s.

  8. Campbell has never been quite good enough. Sucks to say cause he’s likable but its true.

    My though would have been to slot him into LWB/LB as a Gibbs replacement, from his time at Sporting his highlights are mostly beating a player on the wing and delivering a good cross or pass into the box.

    I think he’ll be sold for around £4/8M.

  9. Also Walcott’s goals come against v. weak opposition (hat trick vs. a U21 Soton team in the FA cup). He might have scored 20 goals but they weren’t consistent and were padded out against weaker teams.

    1. Well, that’s a blatant lie. He is one of our consistent performers against the top teams.

  10. Damn, you’re right Rorie.

    A good squad player, but just not good enough to start for a team that should be aiming to win the EPL. Unless Wenger can borrow some of that magic dust Conte used on Moses!

  11. Joel should have been with us – playing. But Wenger does not like him ….. does anyone know why ? Or is is just another case of Wenger’s Law ? A bit like ….. no player of 30 plus can be given more than 12 months contract ! Wenger’s stupid Law

    1. That ‘law’ is just not true any more. Wenger has just given over-30’s Cazorla and Mertesacker one-year extensions, despite knowing neither will hardly play next season. Other recent examples are Mikel Arteta and Tomas Rosicky, and the last-named didn’t even want to stay!

  12. I’m beginning to think AW doesn’t like left footed players? Or maybe just doesn’t like lefties on the left wing? Poldi, Joel and Lucas have all been shunned in recent years! Maybe it’s just a coincidence but ya never know with AW lol

  13. Campbell has the feistiness of Alexis………wants to win in an Arsenal shirt………mentally Wenger destroyed him……..he should leave to revive his career……….he is suited for any formation used by Wenger………but very few chances……….very demoralizing…………

  14. Total.ball control like Wilshere. AW is keeping players who cannot do the basics. Giroud cannot trap and pass easily as compared to Campbell and Wilshere. I really don’t understand what the whole world see in Giroud.

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