When Dick Law Arsenal’s Chief transfer negotiator spent days in Costa Rica in 2011 trying to sign a certain Joel Campbell from San Jose side Deportivo Saprissa, few would have thought that it will take nearly four years for the player to be part of Arsenal’s team. After a nomadic-esque loan spells that took him to three countries from France, Spain and Greece where he played for Lorient, Real Betis and Olympiacos respectively.
Although, many have been following his progress, he raised attention following his performance against Manchester United in the second round of last season’s Champions League where he was impressive in both legs.
As a result, a lot of Arsenal fan took football notice of his qualities, and the anticipation of what he would do was further increased when he was saddled with the responsibility of leading the Costa Rica attack at the World Cup in Brazil. He did not disappoint, scoring a goal and making an assist as Costa Rica came from behind to beat Uruguay in it first group game. But that was where it largely ended for him as he huffed and puffed in the remaining games at the World Cup showing just some flashes of brilliance.
Which brings us to the expectation of Arsenal fans as the striker finally arrives to join the team. Following his largely subdued performance over the last month, it is necessary for Arsenal fans to lower their expectation of the Costa Rican, the 22 year old might have been one of the key performers in the Greek league last season, but the standard of that league cannot be compared to the Premier League, which makes it imperative that fans should not swamp him with a burden of expectation that would be too much for him.
His goal return of just one goal in 5 matches where he played all the matches at the World Cup, and was impressive in just one, means he still has a lot to improve in his game, to his credit though, during the World Cup, he did show that he can perform under pressure by the way he took his penalty kick during the shootout against Greece in the Round 16 match at the World Cup.
Whatever height that have been set for the Costa Rica, that height should be wrapped in a dose of caution to mitigate against any struggle he might encounter in the Premier League, without pre-empting anything, this is assuming he gets the chance to prove himself in Arsene Wenger’s team.