Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger gave an ultimatum to Costa Rican forward Joel Campbell this season, suggesting this was the youngster’s last chance to impress before his future will be up for consideration. Currently in the starting eleven following an injury crisis in the Arsenal squad, Campbell has been given a rare opportunity to prove his worth in the Premier League, and has managed to score his first goal for the Gunners.
The 23-year-old has one goal from his two league appearances, and recently made his intentions clear to prolong his stay at the Emirates due to his love for the London club. But given the players set to come back into the side in the coming weeks, Campbell’s place in the starting eleven is far from guaranteed, and he could even find himself out of the match day squad entirely with so many injured stars likely to replace him.
Aaron Ramsey, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Jack Wilshere, Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck are regular first-team players in the Arsenal side when fit, and five players Campbell will be competing with this season when they return from their respective injuries. As a result, it would take something special for the South American forward to remain in the side when Wenger has a clean bill of health in the squad, which is why Campbell needs to be realistic and make a move to a club willing to give him regular game time.
Signed back in 2011, 17 appearances for Arsenal in four years is a poor return for the 23-year-old, and some indifferent loan spells have done little to boost Campbell’s development. His contract with the Londoners is reportedly up in the summer, and there’s been little talk of a renewal as things stand. The club don’t hold him in as high regard as the regular performers, and why should they? Campbell has done very little of note in an Arsenal shirt, and is only playing for the side as a last resort.
It’s hard to see the Costa Rican international being a regular in the Arsenal attack in the second half of the season, and if he wants a move to a good European club, he should be putting the word out in January. There’s sure to be plenty of interest given he will be a free agent in the summer, and regular game time is likely to be the deciding factor in negotiations.
Should Joel Campbell call time at Arsenal and seek a move for more game time?