Football

Arsene Wenger to give Joel Campbell chance in pre-season

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Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger is using the World Cup to make an informed decision over the future of Costa Rica striker Joel Campbell and is now ready to let the youngster prove he's ready for the Premier League during pre-season training, according to The Telegraph.

Campbell gave Wenger and Gunners fans a glimpse of his raw potential during Costa Rica's World Cup opener against Uruguay on Saturday night, scoring with a superb drive and proving integral throughout as the Central America nation came from a goal down to record a memorable 3-1 victory.

The 21-year-old insisted after that landmark display that he expects to fight for a starting spot at Arsenal next season after three years on loan at Lorient, Real Betis and Olympiacos respectively, a stance Wenger is willing to consider as he weighs up options for next term.

Wenger is in Brazil working as pundit for French television and is watching Campbell's progress closely, but has still not completely made up his mind over the forward's short-term future.

Arsenal could yet sanction another year away from the Emirates for Campbell if they feel his path to the first team is blocked by any quality summer signings, but that decision will come after the World Cup and a full pre-season in North London.

Gunners fans can rest assured though that Wenger has targeted the signing of a striker regardless of whether Campbell does indeed finally make his long-awaited Arsenal debut next season, with Karim Benzema and Mario Mandzukic on the shortlist.

Despite a vastly-improved 22-goal effort from top scorer Olivier Giroud there is a clear need at Arsenal for fresh options at centre forward, with Nicklas Bendtner and the raw but inexperienced Yaya Sanogo falling woefully short as cover last season.

Strength in depth is the key to sustaining a challenge for silverware across multiple fronts over the course of a gruelling campaign, which is where Campbell could well come in handy.

More strong performances at this summer's South American showpiece will surely help Campbell's cause and there are definitely at least more chances for the versatile young forward to shine, against Italy on Thursday and England next week in a Group D that looks likely to go the wire.

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Arsenal
Football
Premier League

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