So it’s been a little over a year since the World Cup in Brazil. A lot has changed, we have a new government, Chelsea are the new champions, Arsenal defended the FA Cup, however Joel Campbell’s situation remains the same. After a wonder goal against Manchester United while on loan at Olympiakos, and a stellar performance for Costa Rica at the World Cup Joel seemed to have the World at his feet, including what we all presumed would be a chance with the first team in North London. Arsene Wenger however seemed to think otherwise.
Skip to August 2015 and after 10 poor appearances in an Arsenal shirt without a single goal (via Bleacher report) Campbell is being courted by clubs across Europe. Something which upsets me given a self confessed soft spot I have for the Costa Rican, particularly when one takes into account that Yaya Sanogo got practically as much game time as the pacey forward before his loan to Crystal Palace. This is a guy who (according to The Star) Ronald De Boer described as ‘having no qualities’, and who I am quite frankly inclined to agree with. It frustrates me even more because of the fact I wouldn’t even blame him for leaving. The guy had a stormer on the world stage helping a small Caribbean nation reach the quarter finals of the World cup, to come back to a club where he spends little time even on the bench.
Naturally many fans will say that’s fine, and to an extent it is. Since we seem to use Joel predominantly out wide as a winger, he is unfortunately a part of the most saturated position at Arsenal. Competing with the likes of Alexis, Walcott, Oxlade Chamberlain and Danny Welbeck every week, not to mention the likes of Ramsey and Ozil who can also play there, he rarely gets a game. These are players who will invariably play ahead of him and with good reason, but I just cant help but feel it’s a waste. We have been calling out for seasons for a striker and this guy is good. Now I’m not suggesting for one moment that Joel Campbell is a Benzema type of striker who is what Arsenal need, but as a replacement or backup, sure he is. He’s far better than Yaya Sanogo and he has just as much talent as Welbeck that’s for sure. So why not give him a shot?
Sadly for me Joel seems like he could be headed for the exit door with Palermo and others interested (via Express). Though I would love to know if I’m the only Arsenal fan who’d love to see him stay and get another chance, I can’t see us getting much for him realistically and would be intrigued to see him in an explosive substitute role. I take the point that we have other players who could do this, but I feel like we are just churning through good strikers like Lukas Podolski and Joel Campbell, without ever truly seeing them play in their real position. Here’s to hoping that he gets a chance to show us all how good he can be up top, at the Emirates or otherwise.