It’s very clear that Arsene Wenger is a master of finding and cultivating talent by giving them time to develop as professionals on loan and when the chance comes, allowing them to make an impact on the first team with Nicklas Bendtner and Aaron Ramsey the two obvious examples. So is it time for Wenger to give Joel Campbell his chance?
After some work permit issues in 2011 prevented Campbell from playing when Arsenal first signed him, the young Costa Rican striker is finally eligible to play in England.
His loan deal with Olympiakos is due to expire at the end of this season, and it seems he could be a very positive addition to an Arsenal side that lacks depth up top.
Of course, after his big goal against Manchester United in the Champions League on Tuesday, Campbell is all the hype - but there’s more to him than just this one goal.
At just 21 years of age, he has scored eight goals in 30 senior appearances with Costa Rica - scoring against the US in World Cup qualifying and helping his country advance to the finals in the second place qualifying spot (ahead of Mexico).
For Olympiakos he has scored seven goals in his 24 appearances and will likely assume more of the goal scoring responsibility after leading goal scorer and Greek international Konstantinos Mitroglou left for Fulham in January.
An extremely quick striker, Campbell can play down the middle and on the wings. His dynamic capability fits Wenger’s system and would allow him to fill in for Olivier Giroud - similarly to when Walcott plays down the middle.
The striker himself has told ESPN Deportes that he hopes to finally get his chance under Arsene Wenger, saying: “I am still hopeful of playing for Arsenal but I have not been given the chance yet, I hope to keep working at Olympiakos.”
Campbell has proved him self on the international stage with Costa Rica, and now on the European stage against one of Europe’s biggest clubs in Manchester United. This should be the year the young striker breaks into the Arsenal first team and becomes a star.
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