Joel Campbell has revealed that Arsenal teammate Santi Cazorla advised him to make the loan move to Villarreal that will see him play for the La Liga outfit until at least the end of this campaign.
Cazorla, who played for the Yellow Submarine prior to his switch to Arsenal in 2012, is said to have spoken positively to Campbell about the move to the Estadio El Madrigal, which talkSPORT cite as another reason for the young forward having opted to go there.
"For me it is a joy that Villarreal took a chance on me and gave me this opportunity to live this experience," Campbell said.
"Cazorla is a phenomenon, he told me a lot about what I could find and told me that this team is a big family."
"Cazorla is a phenomenon, he told me a lot about what I could find and told me that this team is a big family"
The Costa Rican officially made the move as part of the deal that saw highly-rated defender Gabriel Paulista make a transfer to the Emirates Stadium with a work-permit having been granted for the Brazilian earlier this week.
Despite having impressed greatly at both Olympiacos last season and the World Cup this summer. Campbell has struggled to climb the pecking order at Arsenal, and the likes of Olivier Giroud and Danny Welbeck have kept him out of the starting XI.
Eye on the future
As such a switch to pastures new seems like the only way he can continue his development for the time being, with Villarreal having worked wonders with the careers of Diego Forlan and Giuseppe Rossi in the past when they were in similar situations to the one Campbell is facing now.
If he impresses then there’s every chance he could once-again stake a claim for a spot in Wenger’s first-team, as the Frenchman is currently bereft of a striker capable of scoring 20+ a season.
Summer signing Alexis Sanchez has provided the goals that have thus far papered over the cracks in the Gunners’ frontline, but even he is surely set to suffer a drop in form before the campaign is out.
As for Paulista, he’ll be welcomed with open arms by Arsenal supporters worried over the lack of a commanding presence in their back-line. Per Mertesacker and Laurent Koscielny don’t appear together often enough to ensure a stoic partnership in the heart of the defence on a daily basis, and the only established reserve they have is Calum Chambers, who last season spent the majority of his time at right-back for Southampton.
With that in mind Paulista promises to be an astute signing, though Wenger may well still be keeping an eye out for a new defensive midfielder.