Joel Campbell’s Arsenal return

“Joel Campbell did it again” was the headline news from the mid-week international’s involving Arsenal players as the 21 year old Costa Rican scored another screamer against Paraguay.

Following up on his goal against Manchester United in the Champions League, Campbell’s stock has risen over the last week or so, getting to a point where Arsenal fans are :

a) wondering why we loaned him out again and;
b) getting excited over what the future holds.

Joel Campbell got his work permit last summer. The decision to loan him out to Olympiakos was more to do with Arsene Wenger hoping to get a potential buyer for him rather than gain further experience.

Campbell had failed to impress. Two fairly limp loan spells at Lorient & Real Betis, alongside a reported poor attitude in Arsenal training and a shocking dive against the USA in 2013 seemed to mark him out as the type of personality we did not need at the club.

In summer 2013, he was certainly surplus to requirements. with Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky and the emerging Serge Gnabry set to battle it out on the wings, it would have been hard for anyone to justify him staying with the club. We were so well set for wide men that Gervinho was sold on and no replacement bought in.

The game time he could have potentially had went to Serge Gnabry. 4 years younger and a lot more talented, with a much better attitude. Joel Campbell would have struggled to get a single minute.

Hindsight makes football a much easier game. We see it with transfers (Why didn’t we sign Yaya Toure? Why did we pick Diaby over him? Why did we drop Higuain for Suarez?), with tactics and throughout the game. But the problem is, unless you a Mystic Meg, you do not know how things are going to turn out. Football is impossible to predict (unless you are predicting an injury for Diaby, or the good form of Rosicky at contract renewal time).

In hindsight, we should have held on to Joel Campbell. With injuries to both Theo Walcott and Oxlade Chamberlain, the team has, at times, lacked pace. Add in the injury to Yaya Sanogo (which was perhaps a bit more predictable), we have lacked a lot upfront. Joel Campbell certainly could have added to the squad this season. But like I said, hindsight and football.

As for the future, I would still be very surprised if he does return to Arsenal. Firstly, we have effectively bombed him out of the club. Loaning him out to Olympiakos, Arsenal also gave them an option to buy, reportedly around £6.5million. This would have made it clear to all and sundry that Arsenal no longer required his services.

So what can arsenal do now? If they want him back, they will have to offer him a new contract. Whilst Olympiakos have an option to buy, Joel Campbell does not have to move if he does not want to. We offer him a larger contract than them, there is a possibility he will then reject Olympiakos and remain with us.

Even if he wants to stay with Arsenal, I would still not be surprised if Arsenal do not want him. A couple of high profile goals is not usually enough to sway Arsene Wenger’s opinion on a player, who tends to look at the longer term picture.

Ahead of Joel Campbell in the squad are still the aforemention players. Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Tomas Rosicky and Serge Gnabry. With Arsenal likely to add Julian Draxler and a new striker to the squad, Campbell will be pushed further down the pecking order. At best he will be 7th choice winger and 4th choice striker. A situation that no professional football would want to be in. He would still be surplus to requirements.

A player we signed for €1 million who we then sell 3 years later for €8 million, without said player playing a game for us would be a good deal and a significant profit.

It is fairly clear that Joel Campbell is still surplus to requirements. Whilst money is not an issue to Arsenal, I would rather we pocket the £6 million and use that money to re-inforce the defence, where it is likely we will need at least 3 players with Sagna & Vermaelen also set to leave.

Joel Campbell, you have had an excellent couple of weeks, but that does not make you good enough for a place in the Arsenal squad.


13 thoughts on “Joel Campbell’s Arsenal return

  1. Hashim

    I think you have not got your head in the right place, Even when he was signed, everyone could see there was something about him. Arsenal would be offloading Bendtner, Park, and might even do away with Afobe. With the rumors about Morata, Campbell would be a good option to have and will provide good cover in the squad. I believe he can be a different and more productive prospect than Giroud, who is, at best, average.


  2. wam

    interesting. I always saw Campbell as a striker not a wide man. A Samuel Eto’o quality about him infront of goal. If Arsene wants a project of turning a wide man into a forward, ala Draxler, why not Joel? He’s scored more than Julian this season, and has all the attributes.


  3. davi

    It’s not just been a good couple of weeks though, he’s been good all season – it’s only now that he’s played and scored against Utd that Arsenal fans have taken notice. He has a number of assists to his name as well as goals in the Greek league. If you look at the quality of some of his assists in particular, it’s very high. Remember as well he scored against Spain (not too dissimilar to the Utd goal) pretty soon after signing for us. I wouldn’t say that Gnabry is clearly more (or less) talented than Campbell to be honest, but he *may* have a better attitude to the game.
    It reminds me of the Carlos Vela situation – he was never really given a chance with us, despite impressing in some carling cup games, didn’t have a great time on loan and we got rid of him when now he’s showing that he really was good enough for our first team. Could end up being a similar situation. Imo it’s worth giving Campbell a season or 2 at least, if he wants to come back.


  4. Gunner forever

    Yes again Diaby is still much better than Joe, yaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaba. I don’t think so, keep him for two years without playing a single game but paying him that is nice for the young man. Why play if you can still be paid without playing for two years. Amazing things happen at Arsenal FC. No wander we get injured players on loan and pay him, pay for his medical expenses


  5. Obidude

    I think we gonna offload some players like bentner, park, poldolski etc. Jo ll be a good replacement for poldoski if he eventualy leaves arsenal. I hope we do acquire another better striker cos Giroud is obviously the reason we hardly win any big matches. He is not good enough to play for arsenal.


  6. Kharadonha

    I don’t know how good you are when it comes to football. Why compare Joel and Serge? In football you look at what these young guns can offer Arsenal FC and what dead woods need to be axed. As for Arsene, clearly the guy don’t like players from other parts of the world he prefers stupid french players. I still say Arsenal will not win a trophy if Arsene continues to ignore the call from the supporters to start spending some fucken money on players rather than paying injured players for 3 seasons.

    Joel Campbell reminds me of Thierry Henry, his pace, vision of the game, enthusiasism for a young lad like him. I wish you all the best.

    as for you the writer, if you keep posting these post you’ll also be surplus to requirements for writing articles for the Gooners.

    Publish only the good things about our team our Arsenal


  7. Alex

    Campbell has had an excellent season and his loan spells at Lorient and Betis, while not as prolific as this spell in terms of goals, were also successes. This summer he’s going to be his country’s main man at the World Cup at the age of 21. I’d say he’s done more than enough to warrant a chance next season. Who knows whether he’ll make it, but I think it’s fair to say that I’ve watched him play over these past couple of seasons more than most gooners and in my opinion he’s further along than Gnabry (although they are really very different players).
    Most people seem to have read his loan to Olympiacos as evidence that he’s deemed to be surplus to requirements for some reason but I think it’s quite the opposite. He’s been given a loan to a Champions League club to gain experience. Sure, the Greek league is pants, but he’s also performed in big games (not just United, but with accomplished performances at international level, against the USA and Australia among others that suggest that he’s got more to him than flash and fizz against poor opposition – rather he’s got more strings to his bow against professional defences).
    I’m fairly confident he’ll be offered a chance at Arsenal next season. I’m equally confident that Olympiacos will trigger the buy-out clause written into the loan deal. Campbell will make a decision largely on the amount of gametime he thinks he’ll get at Arsenal. Personally, I very much hope that he decides to have a crack in London.


  8. nkusuny

    I will rather he come back and fight for his place, he might do better than the players mention above, who knows.



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