Sports News – Arsene Wenger seems hell-bent on signing a new forward during this summer’s transfer window, after a clear lack of potency in front of goal derailed his side’s title challenge during January and February.
Jamie Vardy’s rejection of a move to the Emirates has left Wenger scratching his head to find a new striker and the club have been continually linked with Alexandre Lacazette and Gonzalo Higuain since the end of the domestic season. But maybe Arsene doesn’t need to cast his net too far away from home in search of the answer.
Joel Campbell has been on the books at Arsenal since moving from Saprissa in 2011, but due to work permit issues he couldn’t play in the Premier League straight away. Campbell enjoyed some successful loan spells in France, Spain and Greece, before returning to London last summer, ready to make his mark in the first team.
Injuries to Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain left the door open for the Costa Rican and he took the opportunity with both hands, stringing together a number of impressive performances in the first team, scoring in comfortable league wins over Swansea and Sunderland.
However, once the likes of Sanchez and Danny Welbeck returned from spells on the side-lines, Campbell’s first team chances diminished and he felt himself sliding down the pecking order. He was even overtaken by 19 year old academy graduate Alex Iwobi, who also made a big impact during his short stint in the starting line-up.
This drop from the team was extremely unfair on Campbell. He had shown, when given the chance to perform, that he had the quality to link up play in the Arsenal way and his explosive speed and power made his a constant threat to opposition defences. He proved himself to be a viable starting option for Wenger and maybe, given some time to grow into the team and improve, he could become a central figure in the future of Arsenal football club. Whether he will be handed opportunities this season, only Wenger will know, but he would be foolish to ignore the qualities Joel Campbell could bring to his goal-shy Arsenal side as they look to mount and sustain a serious title challenge next season.