With reports of the possibility of our snapping up Barcelona star Pedro Rodriguez gathering more and more momentum, it pricks us to wonder if that wouldn’t spell an end to a few players’ playing days at Arsenal.
The need to manage the wage bill plus having a squad of happy players are definite factors that would favour this expectation and a quick glance through the squad, especially in Pedro’s attacking role, would reveal two major candidates as the ones probably waiting to depart.
The Constricted Carbine: Joel Campbell
Returning from the World Cup in Brasil as one of the very best players of the tournament, the Costa Rican hitman must have expected that Wenger’s decision not to send him out on loan again would translate to steady action in the first team. Indeed, it had appeared he might feature big time going by his impressive display in the Emirates Cup, but like Sanogo, it’s gone very low key. Not because he has failed to deliver on the huge expectation we saw of him in the World Cup but because he has barely had ample opportunity to prove his worth. With just one start this season, Campbell looks like one of those who may be seeking a way out to save his career when the January window opens. Several clubs around Europe made efforts to snap him up on loan even as early as after the World Cup in July, with AC Milan even willing to offer us Mario Balotelli in exchange. Benfica were rumoured to have plotted a hijack for him on deadline day which may have even involved lifting him on a private jet to the Estadio la Luz, but Wenger wasn’t willing to let go of him. Campbell is on Wenger’s list as one of his strikers but is yet to be played in that position this season. Pedro’s arrival will even edge him further down on that list, if not out of the club entirely.
The Periodic Predator: Lukas Podolski
Podolski’s first – and best – season at the Emirates saw him deployed on the left wing, the same position where Pedro has played his best days at Barcelona. The storm have calmed on Podolski’s frustration with regards to limited opportunities in the team this season after his powerful left foot gave us all the spoils right at the death at Anderlecht. At 29, he is no longer a youngster and has not been impressed with having to sit on the bench every weekend. He has repeatedly stated that he would seek a move soon if nothing changes, and aside that goal, it doesn’t actually seem much will change with Chmaberlain, Alexis, Cazorla, Welbeck and even the returning Walcott still ahead of him in the pecking order. The possibility of Wenger making one attacking recruit in January would give suggestion to the possible departure of one attacking player from the squad, and by most person’s guesses, it will be Podolski. Joel Campbell’s age means he gets the nod to stay if it were to be a vote for one of either of them.
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