Arsenal Player Reviews: Joel Campbell


We are nearing the end of the season and it’s time to look back at how each player fared this calender year. Today we have the young and talented striker Joel Campbell on our menu, so let’s get going.

The youngster had a good season with Olympiakos last year and also played a crucial part in Costa Rica’s inspiring run in the World Cup. Campbell returned to the Emirates after spending around three seasons on loan and the Costa Rican excited the fans with his impressive performance in the Emirates cup and followed that up with an excellent performance against Benefica.

The most exciting part of his game is his ability to get past defenders with pace and skill. He has a small frame and is likely suited to the winger role in future rather than as the lone striker. His work rate and defensive contribution are an added bonus.

The first part of the season would have been confidence destroying for him, as even with many of our forward players injured, Campbell was reserved to the bench and made very few substitute appearances. He did not get the chances he was hoping for and by December it was clear that he wouldn’t get many first team opportunities this season and was sent to Villareal on loan in an exchange deal for new boy Gabriel Paulista.

Going by his performances he plays best when he is the main man i.e., the team is built around him cue Olympiakos or Costa Rica, but that clearly is not the case at Arsenal. He can be given some more time to develop into the player he promises to be, by sending him on another loan spell. I think he should be kept at the club if Walcott eventually leaves, but he has a long way back to first team place as there are Alexis, Ox, Welbeck and others ahead of him in the pecking order.

Joel is doing quite well on loan at Villareal though hasn’t scored, he is earning plaudits for his performances especially after their Real Madrid game. The young forward has the potential to make it big but he needs to improve on adding end product to his game which is missing currently. It is also worth reminding that he is the reason on why we do not need sterling.

Does Campbell have a future at Arsenal?

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