The first time I saw Joel Campbell playing for Olympiakos of Greece in the first leg of the Champions League match against Manchester United this season, I knew instantly that he was one for the future. The 21 year old Costa Rican international scored the second goal against the English team, and became an instant hero among Arsenal fans.
After that match, a lot of fans and football pundits encouraged Wenger to consider a place for the young forward in the Arsenal team. Of course, Wenger didn’t shy away from replying to various questions that have to do with Campbell as he promised to assess situations.
The player is now being linked with a number of English clubs including Newcastle United and West Brom. Wenger on the other hand has not spoken about the club’s plan for the 21 year old, but it is difficult to see who Campbell could displace in the current Arsenal team.
During his one year loan stay at Olympiakos, Campbell scored 10 goals in 32 appearances, and helped his team to the Greek League title. He is one player who loves to dribble a lot and is very good at making short passes. However, he still has a lot of work to do in terms of his passes and how much time he holds on to the ball.
To break into the Arsenal team, he needs to do a lot of work especially with Giroud already ahead of him and the fact that Wenger is already making advanced plans to sign a world-class centre forward in the summer. The competition for places in the Arsenal team is already stiff as it is, and things could get even tougher next season with players like Carlos Vela and Antoine Griezmann likely to join.
A loan deal to a Championship side or a Premiership side could do him a world of good. While that happens, the young man needs to work on those areas already identified as his weaknesses in order to break into the first team. At 21, Campbell still has a lot of years ahead of him, and a loan move to an English club would be a better option.