When Arsenal chief transfer negotiator Dick Law was transversing Costa Rica three years ago to secure the signing of Joel Campbell from Deportivo Saprissa, little did anyone know that it will take that long for the Costa Rican to play in the shirts of Arsenal. Despite the labyrinth nature of the transfer. The player who hails from the English speaking region of Costa Rica have had some nomadic playing career since Arsenal brought him to Europe from Costa Rica. Having played in France, Spain and Greece for Lorient, Real Betis and Olympiacos in three seasons making a total of 85 appearances and scoring 13 goals.
However, his trajectory as it relates to Arsenal might be about to change as his name has apparently been added to the Arsenal first team via a release from the Arsenal website. This in itself is a change as regards the career of the Costa Rican at the Emirates. After having being denied a work permit initially, that has now changed.
His performance at the World Cup for Costa Rica must have impressed le prof for him to give Joel Campbell some benefit of doubt so that he can prove himself first in pre season. Although, it must quickly be said that, the fact his name appears along side Oliver Giroud, Yaya Sanogo as strikers on the club’s website does not mean that he will end up making it at Arsenal or better still play a part in the club’s season.
Arsene Wenger has an history of sticking with players, hoping that they would come out good when they are struggling. But over the years, he has altered that path by quickly cutting lose of players when he feels they are no longer up to the standard at Arsenal. Ditto Gervinho, Andre Santo, and even youth hopeful like Henri Lansbury and Jay Emmanuel Thomas.
The Frenchman would have seen enough of Joel Campbell to decide whether he has a future at the Emirates. It is never enough for a name to appear on the club’s site for it to be conclusve that a player has become part of the first team squad overnight.
Chances are that he might still end up going out on loan again as much as many would want to see him play in an Arsenal shirt after his performance at the World Cup in Brazil. But, there is always a measure of realism attached to a player’s future. The club has brought in Alexis Sanchez, and already it has Oliver Giroud and Yaya Sanogo in it books, if another striker is signed where does Joel Campbell come in?
The sentimentist nature in those of an Arsenal persuasion would want to see him in an Arsenal shirt no matter the issues, but, the realist will see that his path to the first team could be as far as the unseen waters of the the Artic.
In the end, Arsene Wenger decides it all.