Now aged 23 and on the back of four loan spells in as many years, it appears time is running out for Joel Campbell to prove his worth as an Arsenal player.
With the Costa Rica international now well matured and saturated with experience, Arsene Wenger has admitted it is ‘now or never’ for his Gunners career.
The 2014/15 season looked to be Campbell’s break-through at the Emirates after a superb campaign on loan at Olympiacos. Furthermore, the midfielder had been heaped with plaudits following an equally fruitful World Cup that saw Costa Rica reach the quarter-finals.
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Such glistening form warranted Campbell’s chance to shine at Arsenal after spending the previous three seasons on loan in France, Spain and Greece.
However, the winger was simply unable to make the cut and failed to make inroads into Wenger’s first team squad. In fact, the Costa Rican’s absence of influence in English football was augmented by him being swiftly loaned out once again in January, this time to Villarreal.
Upon returning this summer, many viewed this year as Campbell’s last chance to make an impact in an Arsenal jersey or face the axe. There was even surprise the north Londoners hadn’t offloaded the 23-year-old, with there being a swarm of interest throughout pre-season.
And according to the Mirror, Wenger has told the player this week he must now take his chance.
The Frenchman, though, also insists Campbell still has an important part to play. He said: “I have been very impressed with him, his attitude is outstanding.
“He can be a big help for us. In the coming two to three months he can be very important.
“I didn’t want to send him out on loan again. I wanted to keep him here. He has been on loan two or three times and that it is now or never for him with us.”
With high-profile injuries to Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott in midweek, a potential opening has arisen for the Costa Rican winger. However, the clock is ticking on Campbell’s London tenure and to avoid exit he must perform in the upcoming games.
Wenger is showing great patience and trust in Campbell - isn’t it about time he repaid his boss?