Decision time looming for Arsenal on Ryo and Campbell


They are two youngsters who both joined the club in 2011 and are officially part of the first-team squad, but have spent much of the ensuing period on loan at various clubs. That, however, is where the similarities are likely to end for Ryo and Joel Campbell, with the former poised to stake his claim for a regular place in the Arsenal squad this summer, whilst Campbell looks set to spend another season in Spain with Real Betis.

For all the attention that the two players have attracted, and in Ryo’s case it has been considerable, the pair have made just two senior outings for the club between them, with both of those coming as the Japanese youngster made cameo appearances in the Carling Cup during the 2011/12 campaign.

Both players were plucked from relative obscurity, with Ryo joining the club straight from High School and Campbell signed off the back of some impressive performances for his country, Costa Rica, but, with Ryo now 20 years old and Campbell turning 21 later this month, a decision will need to be made over their respective long-term futures sooner rather than later.

Ryo has not had an easy run since joining the club. He caught the eye with his electric speed when featuring for an Arsenal XI against Boreham Wood in 2010 whilst still technically a trialist and transferred some of that good form to a higher level with Feyenoord during the 2010/11 campaign, earning rave reviews and even being referred to as “Ryodinho” in some quarters. Since earning a work permit enabling him to play competitively in England, however, the winger has struggled to make a significant impact.

He did relatively well with Bolton Wanderers in 2011/12, winning the club’s Player of the Month award for February, but was barely involved in the latter stages of the campaign and, this time around, saw his spell with Wigan Athletic hampered by a succession of injuries, although he did shine in the Capital One Cup.

Campbell, like Ryo, is a full international, but, conversely, has yet to receive his work permit; indeed the club have yet to even apply for one. He has made half a century of league appearances combined over the past two seasons, yet his spells with Lorient in France and Real Betis in Spain have yielded a total of just five goals. Campbell certainly possesses much raw potential and is a powerful presence, but, if he is to ever make the grade at Emirates Stadium, then his goalscoring record will need to improve considerably.

As it stands, Campbell is likely to remain with Betis for another campaign, after which he will assess his options. Ryo, meanwhile, provided he has fully recovered from injury, will travel with the first-team on their tour of Asia and will be hopeful of being involved, in some capacity at least, during the forthcoming campaign.

13 comments

  1. Hey George, only yesterday did Wenger say he has high expectations for Ryo http://www.arsenal.com/news/news-archive/wenger-why-i-have-high-hopes-for-ryo, I think with 3 first team players already having left/leaving the club Squillaci, Arshavin and Denilson, then that opens up positions surely. Plus the futures of Chamakh, Djourou, Park and Santos will inevitably open up space…

    I would hope that we can get them to sign long term contracts and embed them into the first team soon!

  2. Ryo was unfortunate with injuries during both spells with Bolton and Wigan, I honestly think he would have been more effective than Gervinho throughout this season if he was given a chance at Arsenal.

    He did travel with the squad for the Newcastle game so I assumed he was fit again?

    Hopefully he can a strong impact during the Asia tour as there will certainly be a lot of focus on him. It would be beneficial for him to stay with Arsenal next season, he is a more natural winger than anyone else in the first team.

    As for Campbell, I’ve not seen enough of him to fairly comment. His goal return does seem very poor but he is starting regularly which is more than other loanees have managed. from what I have seen he has mostly played on the wing too which might explain the goal tally

    1. Yes. I second that thought. The lad can definitely finish. His goal against Span was class. If he develops his game then I think Wenger might give him a chance. But I guess the new boy Sanogo has better chance than Campbell as he is already with the team.

      Ryo appears to have lots of potential too. But I guess it is one more year of loan for him before he can be considered for a place in the first team as his position is too crowded with pros like Podolski, Gervinho!!, Santi. I guess a club like Fulham / Everton that likes to play on the counter will be ideal for him.

  3. Breaks my heart not seeing Ryo in our first team. I will never understand why he has been loaned out so long after watching him in Holland, for me he just needed games in the first team. He has the ability to be as ronaldo was but he needs a chance to show it and why not after players lie bendtner got so many chances and never done anything but pass to the other team.

  4. campbell hasn’t scored many goals since he does NOT play as a striker at real betis.
    ryo should be given one full season in England on loan when he is injury free and guaranteed playing time. Only then can we see if he is ready or not (although at 20 years old 90% aren’t ready yet).

  5. Only few of youngsters will make it so i jst hope da best among them do so Gk martinez has a chance 2 b 3rd choice of vito n fabiansky Rb bellerin has a gr8t chance of makin it wit sagna’s age n contract dispute CB Miquel has a slight chance bt hayden looks a better prospect n younger DM nico might nt make it considering le coq n frimmy r struglin 2 CM/AM aneke eisfeld olsson toral if i tink olsson has a gr8t chance talent wise zelalam n crowley vry young yet RW/LW ryo joel serge bot ryo n joel r ful international wit potential bt serge might jst egde dem base on age n talent CF sanogo akpom it wil cum ho shos more talent n hardwork n i hope chuba cums on top so My pik is Akpom a quik n skilful forwan Bellerin an atackin modern fulback Gnabry an fine attackin talent Hayden a comandin cb gud in possesion Olsson a gud midfielder wit widerange of passin

  6. I feel although they’re both equally talented ryo has more of a chance seeing as he’s a natural winger. Campbell can definitely play there but he’s more of a striker though he hasn’t played there for betis. The addition of sanogo and possibly mitrovic would do little to encourage him. Doesn’t mean he can’t make it just that there’s more competition. Amongst the youth ranks Roy’s main competitions IMO is gnabry. Both seem grounded though, especially ryo, which is why I may be a bit biased towards him.
    If anyone is interested the link below is a u14 tournament arsenal participated in. The finished runners up behind anderlecht (beat us 1-0 after extra time). The likes of Ajax, fc twente participated.

  7. Only few of youngsters will make it so i jst hope da best among them do so Gk martinez has a chance 2 b 3rd choice of vito n fabiansky Rb bellerin has a gr8t chance of makin it wit sagna’s age n contract dispute CB Miquel has a slight chance bt hayden looks a better prospect n younger DM nico might nt make it considering le coq n frimmy r struglin 2 CM/AM aneke eisfeld olsson toral if i tink olsson has a gr8t chance talent wise zelalam n crowley vry young yet RW/LW ryo joel serge bot ryo n joel r ful international wit potential bt serge might jst egde dem base on age n talent CF sanogo akpom it wil cum ho shos more talent n hardwork n i hope chuba cums on top so My pik is Akpom a quik n skilful forwan Bellerin an atackin modern fulback Gnabry an fine attackin talent Hayden a comandin cb gud in possesion Olsson a gud midfielder wit widerange of passin

    Your head teacher should be put in stocks!

  8. The 1992 born group of 9 players will have a make or break to prove their worth to be reigistered for the PL in 2014/15. *(Please note that I haven’t taken into account their contract end date)*

    Martinez – The Reading game was just a blip I believe & he will show the promise that he can be in our future plans. With the contracts of Fabianski & Vito winding down & Szczesny to be honest, it’s a big summer ahead for the Goalkeepers. Wenger needs an experienced head to bring Szczesny & Martinez on. Can’t see Vito staying if he can get an offer of first choice football in the summer. – FIRST TEAM SQUAD & PART SEASON LOAN THIS SEASON & EXPECT HIM TO BE PL REGISTERED in 2014/15.

    Jenks – Fan favourite & top prospect for the future RB place. Would Sagna staying for another year be good or bad for him? He may be frustrated at his bench role. Needs games to learn the position fully. – FIRST TEAM SQUAD & EXPECT HIM TO BE PL REGISTERED in 2014/15.

    Boateng – He has to be ridiculously good this year to prove any way useful for the club. Not sure that he will even be part of the Capital One Cup squad unless Miquel gets a season long loan. U21 SQUAD & LOAN TO LEAGUE 1 or 2 AGAIN & HE WON’T BE HERE IN 2014/15.

    Miquel – Ideally he would be the left sided CB to be back-up to Vermaelen but is Miquel going to go the same way as Daniel Ayala (formerly of Liverpool) or prove to be as a success as Gerard Piqué (formerly of Man Utd) did? He needs a loan to really know if he’s up to the task. SEASON LONG LOAN NEEDED & NOT SURE HE WILL BE HERE IN 2014/15.

    Frimpong – If enthusiasm was enough then he’d be an Arsenal great. He has physical presence but I don’t think he will be enough to compete here for that DM spot. NOT HERE in 2014/15.

    Wilshere – If he’s not here in 2014/15 then something awful has happened! PL REGISTERED IN 2014/15 & POSSIBLE CAPTAIN.

    Galindo – waste of money. Cancel his contract like Denilson. NOT HERE IN 2014/15.

    Ryo Miyaichi – Speed winger that hasn’t had a clean run in the premier league to prove his quality. There clearly is an expectation placed on him & I hope he does get a chance before the Capital One Cup starts & he needs a short term loan to get games. Would Wenger be ruthless if he fails to deliver again? FIRST TEAM SQUAD & LOAN FEB-JUNE THIS SEASON & NOT SURE HE’LL BE HERE IN 2014/15.

    Joel Campbell – It would be a shame if we don’t get to see him at least put the Arsenal jersey on. Why should he stay in Spain if he can get a WP this summer. To me it wouldn’t hurt to play him in smaller games & as an impact sub. We had so many strikers sent OUT on loan last summer, truly strange. DEPENDING ON WP – FIRST TEAM SQUAD & LOAN FEB-JUNE – DEPENDS ON WHETHER HE STAYS ON LOAN IN SPAIN & MAY NOT BE HERE IN 2014/15.

    So that’s 3 of 9 that will definitely be part of the 2014/15 PL senior squad. More homegrown players as well.

  9. Generally your reporting is of a high standard, but the report of Cambpell is a bit over the top.

    He’s playing on the right-wing for Betis, so his goal return is not an issue. He is also starting regularly and is thought of very highly by the coaches and fans.

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