Is The End Near for Arsenal Forward Joel Campbell?

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Despite having just signed a contract extension before his loan spell at Villarreal in 2015, is the young forward’s time up in North London? After an encouraging pre-season tour with Arsenal, Joel Campbell was not even in the 18 players dressed to face rivals Liverpool on opening day. An impressive display against the MLS all stars, he notched the opening goal of the game. This goal demonstrated his career at Arsenal thus far as he was determined to score. He has never given up. When it looked like he was going to be offloaded when seen as surplus to the squad, Campbell took his opportunity and scored in a 3-0 win against Swansea last season. This was the back end of some successive loan spells at Real Betis, Olympiacos and Villarreal. Campbell has shown so much determination to prove to Arsene Wenger that he is worthy of a place in the first team. He may be starting to think that his chances are drying up.

Reason to Leave

After impressive performances during the preseason friendlies, Joel Campbell could not even watch the opening English Premier League game from the dugout. The Costa Rican surely has to be frustrated by this, no matter the perseverance he has shown in his Arsenal career. The 24-year-old is currently behind Alex Iwobi, Alex Oxlade-Chamberlin, and Theo Walcott. However, with Mesut Ozil coming back from a prolonged break, he may be asked to play out on the right flank due to the loaded midfield that Arsenal boasts. In addition, Alexis Sanchez will be presumably positioned on the left wing when Olivier Giroud becomes available or when Arsenal finally purchases a new more reliable number nine striker. Serge Gnabry has also impressed many onlookers at the Rio Olympics, and his inclusion into the rotation will make things even trickier for Joel Campbell.

Why Arsenal Need Him

With the recent injury plague that has hit Arsenal so early in the season, it would be unwise of Arsene Wenger to let any player as talented as Campbell go. While some Arsenal players may be offloaded, Joel Campbell should not be one of them. His great left foot on that right wing, coming inside and using his creative abilities to create and convert chances for the team is such a great asset to have for the depth of the squad. Not only can he come in and perform barring any injuries, such as Alex Iwobi’s thigh injury against Liverpool, but also boosts training sessions which translate to positive team performances. More competition in each position does nothing but raise the level of play of the players. Being a clear cut first choice gives players room to slack off whereas competition for positions on the pitch raise the level of play in matches and training sessions alike.

Although Joel Campbell may not be pleased to keep playing as a back up, his determination and will to persevere must come out on top to prove his worth to Wenger and the Arsenal faithful. And if his early career has said anything about his mindset towards the matter, Campbell will do just that.