Campbell’s latest loan could be precursor to permanent move

Picture: Marca

Picture: Marca

Given the lengths that Arsenal went to sign Joel Campbell from Saprissa two summers ago, the possibility of the winger not playing a competitive game for the club may seem somewhat unfathomable, but now appears to be an increasing possibility after he sealed his third loan move in as many seasons by joining Olympiacos.

After spells with Lorient in France and Real Betis in Spain, Campbell will spend the upcoming season with the Greek champions, for whom he will compete in the Champions League. Participating in Europe’s elite club competition will no doubt accelerate Campbell’s development, but, at this stage, it appears unlikely that Arsenal will reap the benefits.

The Costa Rican international received a work permit enabling him to play competitively in England earlier this month, but the fact that he has been loaned out to a foreign side rather than a domestic club suggests that this latest loan could be the precursor to a permanent move, as do reports that the temporary transfer will contain an option for Olympiacos to purchase the player at the end of the season.

If Campbell does not feature at all for Arsenal then it would seem rather a shame given the protracted negotiations that were required to secure his signature in 2011. Other than a handful of training sessions, he has not spent much time at London Colney, despite the fact that he is officially part of the first-team squad.

Campbell does remain a promising, if still somewhat raw talent. His performances on the international stage for Costa Rica have been largely impressive, with his goal against Spain in a friendly a particular highlight. At club level, however, he still has some way to go to establish himself, having only found the net five times in total during his spells with Lorient and Betis.

That said, the winger possesses a blend of pace and power that can cause a multitude of problems for the opposition. The fact that Arsene Wenger has opted to retain Ryo Miyaichi ahead of him, at least for the time being, provides an indication of where Campbell’s future lies however, with this latest move suggesting that, despite his promise, a lot would need to change in the next twelve months for him to have a long-term future at Emirates Stadium.



  1. Does it hurt you that Suarez actually wants to join US. Yes thats right, Liverpool the greatest and biggest so called football club in the world yet your star player wants to join a top 4 side in the CL. Yeah thats right, now jog on.

  2. The CF role now is btw sanogo & akpom as 3rd choice arsharvin’s place will b btw ryo n gnabry while zelalam is nw d best prospect in CM alongside dan crowley both will b contestin wit olsson/toral while aneke & eisfeld @20yrs nids competative football so d should leave on loan or permanent considerin gedion n dan age n talent

  3. let’s see it this way. would any of our other youngsters be wanted by a CL club? this is good if anything, wont hurt him nor arsenal.

  4. Yes a pity about Campbell. But realistically, the Wenger Home Grown project ran out of time. A lot of fans (and sponsors) are clamouring for trophies. I believe Wenger will allow some youth in the first team – Akpom, Gnabry, Zelalem (few years from now). It also depends how patient the young ones are.

  5. Hi All,
    Hopefully we will come good with time, strikers usually carry a great responsibility. A couple of misses and you can go tumbling down the order. So if he becomes a regular started, it would be no less achievement at Olympiakos.

    Btw we had this Holding Midfielder Sebastien Perez at trial early July, Any updates on how is he doing or how he fared ? (though there will be work permit related issues with his signing, but not bad to have a hot prospect on book, a young South American box to box midfielder )

  6. Madness all this buying from the Americas and not giving the player a single chance at Arsenal. Joel Campbell was impressive for Real Betis, establishing himself as a starter in a team challenging at the top. To not even get a chance on tour is laughable, tbh. Same happened with Pedro Botelho, who after a great season at Levante was sent back to Brazil, where he is impressing for Atletico Paranaense. These two should their ability in La Liga and never got a look in at Arsenal, yet Wellington Silva cannot get games in the Segunda and is still an Arsenal player? Makes no sense.

    1. …except Campbell couldn’t hit a cows arse with a banjo, scoring 3 in 25 at Lorient and 2 in 32 at Betis. Whereas Miyaichi got 3 in 12 for Feyenoord. As for Botelho, he himself torpedoed his career with his attitude and disciplinary issues, not the least hit & run drink driving.

  7. i think wenger is going to pull a surprise, by declaring that project youth is in fact working well. there are now 66 players at the club if you don’t include the 3 that have gone on loan. I expect that number to reduce by 5 or 6 more with the departures of gervinho, bendtner, chamakh park, galindo and (probably) wellington. i have mentioned this in the past but the club are preparing a two tiered approach, with approximately half the squad being first team to challenge on the 4 fronts and the other half being the academy and challenging on all 4 fronts. obviously it will not stop first teamers playing academy matches and likewise not prevent academy players playing first team matches, but it will give a sense of unity and dangle a bigger carrot to the youngsters. i think we could see as many as 11 players join the first team (Martinez, bellerin, miquel, yennaris, aneke, eisfeld, Olsson, zelalem, gnabry, afobe and akpom) bringing the total first team squad to 33. This would leave the academy with 27 players. obviously those numbers will change further should new players join the club, however if they do, it will probably mean more youngsters going out on loan. obviously some of the academy players will be limited by age in turning out for the younger age limited tornaments, so they will more than likely make up the core of the under 21s. likewise the most promising schoolboys will support the under 18’s

  8. Campbell is rubbish, dreadful player. I said that when we signed and I got abused plenty.
    There is nothing special about him whatsoever.

    To say Campbell is better than Sanogo and Ryo is trully laughable.

    What I have seen of his performances for Real Betis have been trully dreadful. It was clear he was not going to make it.

    Wenger is a genius though, made a very tidy profit from this player. Got about an extra £3 millions from the proposed sale and loan of Campbell. We need to keep buying these south americans and selling them for profit, good way to make profit tbf

  9. I hope we do these type of deals in the future. The academy has made a fortune by doing these deals: Bentley, Bothelo, Vela etc

    1. agree the arsenal academy may seem like it doesn’t produce talent, but it is in fact one of the top self sustaining models in the country. people seem to forget how little apprentices are actually paid, it is usually only after receiving a 2nd or 3rd professional contract, that a player moves on to a bigger salary. when you collect a fee like we did for david Bentley and add a sell-on clause in it like we do with nearly all of our academy players that break into the first team, you fund another 20/30 kids to enter the academy over the next 3 years. if you manage to unearth a talent like cesc, Wilshire or dare i say it zelalem then you have basically hit the jackpot, a player like cesc paid for approximately 7 years of academy intake.

  10. Ozyakup made us €700,000 including future sale on fees and appearance fees which in total makes us £1.7 millions. Top, top move by Wenger again

  11. I still think that Gnabry is a sellable asset, he played CL football and can become a decent upper midtable player in the bundesliga. We could fetch a fee of an excess of £5 millions for him easily.

    We gained a lot of money from Coquelin

    1. He can make it at arsenal no need to sell. In fact I would say he’s probably the favourite amongst ryo, wellington and himself though ryo is my personal favourite amongst the three. Hopefully two can make it but that may well be overly optimistic.

    1. thanks for that quality pictures too.

      I never realised that plegezuelo was so big? I thought it was razor Ruddock playing!!

      I reckon him and hayden will make a great partnership, unless izzy plays DM. he could certainly overtake the likes of dallison and siemann.

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