“It is a dream come true to play for such a big club in England and I want to do well for myself and Costa Rica,”I am ready, I am very happy to be here and I want to focus on doing well for Arsenal.”I’m good in one-on-ones and I am a player who knows how to score goals. I play forward and I can play on both sides.
“Arsene Wenger is a manager of immense quality. I took this decision because I know I have a possibility to become a better player here.” – Joel Campbell
Do not be fooled, those comments were made in August 2011 when Arsenal signed the then 19 year old Joel Campbell. Fast forward, three years later and having been shipped on loan to France, Spain and Greece and on the back of a good season in Greece where he played in the champions league and an above average performance at the World Cup, Joel Campbell seems to have finally returned to play at a club he originally signed for in 2011.
Arsene Wenger would be hoping that the comments made by Joel Campbell when he first signed for the club are still characteristics that define him today as he is set to compete for a place at Arsenal beginning with a likely starting berth in the Emirates Cup against Benfica.
Speaking to The Sun on his return to Arsenal Joel Campbell stated that;
‘The Premier League’s is the most interesting in the world and I’ve always wanted to play here. It’s my dream. And I believe I’m good enough,’ ‘I’ve played around 100 games in three different divisions in Europe. Lorient in France, Real Betis in Spain and Olympiakos in Greece, where I played Champions League too. ‘I’m confident of being successful in any division in the world.
In reality, Joel will be facing the toughest test of his career thus far as the level of competition he is going to face at Arsenal will be nothing compared to what he has faced in all the other clubs he has featured for in Europe. However, Wenger has confirmed he will be given his chances with the club next season. This he confirmed when he said;
‘Yes, he [Campbell] is part of my plans. He might play tomorrow against Benfica,’ Wenger told reporters at a press conference on Friday.
One of his key strengths is his ability to play from anywhere in the attack which means as a substitute which he would be expected to start as when the season kicks off he has a higher percentage of getting brought into games to fill positions. Competition however will remain stiff as from the left he would have to compete with Santi Cazorla and Lukas Podolski , down the middle it is not any easier as Giroud and Sanchez would be the likely starters there. Wenger seems likely to give Yaya Sanogo also a running down the middle and it would be important to see who is higher up between Campbell and Yaya.
Playing from the right Arsenal has got an abundance of talented players as Theo Walcott would be the expected first choice down the right, Alexis Sanchez can also feature from the position, Oxlade Chamberlain is an interesting prospect too. Campbell has his work cut out for him if he intends to be a regular in this Arsenal team and it seems he has a lot of confidence in his ability which would be a key ingredient should he become successful.