It is becoming increasingly likely that out-of-favour striker, Joel Campbell, could be farmed out in January to become reacquainted with competitive football, more a matter of ‘where’ than ‘if’, and Liverpool are the latest to express a readiness to take him.
The 22-year old forward has had quite a difficult time at the Emirates this season still being without a League start after 14 games despite being always fit and available, without injuries, and off a fantastic World Cup experience in Brasil. Campbell was expected to have a significant role in Wenger’s team this season after a stellar World Cup campaign with quarter-finalists Costa Rica.
However, only one League start and 37 minutes of substitute appearances have limited him to a fringe role. The fact that he has been behind even Yaya Sanogo must be sign that he is probably not as wanted as Wenger paints him to be, and if he the manager is reluctant to lose him on the long term, he must at least let him go on a temporary basis.
But, even more than being an act of goodwill to Campbell, allowing Liverpool to take him will only be for our own good as he will remain in the Premier League where his performances will still be within our view.
Previous loan spells have taken him to France, Spain and Greek side, Olympiacos, but if not for last summer’s World Cup, we probably wouldn’t have cared much if Wenger decided against letting him return this season. It happens that many players have a good run in the 5 games they play in a tournament but fall short of being up for a weekly – nowadays, daily – challenge within a League set-up and it is fair to say that Campbell remains unproven in the Premier League. His goal against Benifca in the Emirates Cup has long been lost to memory, but an opportunity to play for one of the best clubs in the League – on a temporary basis – could prove the catalyst to see him stamp a seal of arrival in England.
Liverpool would surely benefit from Campbell as neither Balotelli nor any one of the other attacking players have lived up to the extravagant fees spent on them in the last summer. Daniel Sturridge, who is the only remaining main hope for goals, has been crocked by recurring injuries this season and there is no cynicism in expecting him to be injured again even when he eventually returns in January. Rather than spend money recalling a player they had initially signed this season, it would be infinitely wiser to pay less than a fifth of that fee to get a very good player like Campbell to help them out for 6 months.
There has hardly been a season where we’ve had so much players loaned out as this, but more interesting is the brilliance of their performances so far, Benik Afobe lighting up MK Dons while Carl Jenkinson seats above us on the League table with West Ham. With the aforementioned Afobe likely to return next season with what he’s done to prove himself at this point, perhaps Campbell should take the same route to work his way to the upper echelons of Wenger’s consciousness by going to Merseyside to graft his way back up to London.
It can only be a win win win for all three: Liverpool, Arsenal, and most importantly, Joel Campbell himself.
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