Arsenal have confirmed that striker Joel Campbell agreed a new long-term deal with the Gunners prior to his loan move to Villarreal.
Campbell, 22, joined the Spanish club until the end of the season as part of the deal to take Brazilian centre-back Gabriel Paulista in the opposite direction.
But Arsenal clearly believe the Costa Rica international has a bright future at the Emirates Stadium after trying him down to a new long-term contract.
Good news for Arsenal fans
The exact length of the new deal is currently unclear - Arsenal confirmed the news with a single line in their article announcing the arrival of Gabriel - but the Gunners’ faithful will be pleased that Arsene Wenger has secured the services of one of the club’s best young strikers beyond the summer of 2016.
Campbell has been loaned to Villarreal after failing to establish himself in the Gunners’ first team this season. He made 10 appearances in total, including four in the Premier League, but found himself behind the likes of Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck in the pecking order at the Emirates Stadium.
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Campbell impressed during previous loan spell
Wenger opted to include Campbell in his first team plans this season following his impressive performances for Olympiacos last season.
He scored 11 goals in 43 appearances - including one against Manchester United in the Champions League - and also caught the eye while playing for Costa Rica at the World Cup finals in Brazil last summer.
Campbell will now be intent on making the most of his opportunity with Villarreal, who are contenders to secure a top-four finish in La Liga.
Currently sixth in the Spanish league table, the Yellow Submarine are unbeaten in the league since their 3-1 defeat to Valencia on November 2.
But can they maintain their unbeaten streak without Gabriel in central defence? This will be the big test for Marcelino’s men going forwards.
Campbell could make his Villarreal debut against Getafe in the Copa del Rey this evening. Three days later he could find himself playing at the Camp Nou as Villarreal travel to Barcelona.
Should he help Marcelino’s side qualify for the 2015-16 Champions League, Wenger will surely be convinced to give the young striker more first-team opportunities with the Gunners next season.
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