Joel Campbell has become frustrated at the lack of first team opportunities at Arsenal, claim The Mirror, and will seek a transfer in the New Year.
Having been one of the stars of Costa Rica’s impressive progress to the quarter-final of the World Cup in Brazil during the summer, with his performances raising hopes that this could be his breakthrough season at the Emirates Stadium. After initially linking up with the Gunners in 2011, the 22-year-old has spent the past three years on loan in France, Spain and Greece.
Campbell scored three goals in 25 appearances for Lorient in Ligue 1 and, still waiting for his work permit to be approved, the following campaign he hit two goals in 28 outings for La Liga side Real Betis. When his paperwork finally came through in the summer of 2013, he was again farmed out for more experience, this time scoring eight goals in 32 games for Olympiakos.
His showing in Brazil prompted interest from Benfica, who were willing to take the striker on a permanent basis or on another loan deal. Indeed, Campbell and his representatives are thought to have been convinced a deal would be rubberstamped, but Arsene Wenger vetoed the switch to the Portuguese giants so he could include the player in his first team plans.
However, Campbell has made just one start for Arsenal this season, and that was in the League Cup defeat to Southampton in September. He also has two substitute appearances in the Premier League, in the 2-2 draw against Everton in August and then last month when he featured in another 2-2 draw, this time against Hull City, with a combined playing time of just 49 minutes.
What has made his frustration reach boiling point, suggests The Mirror, is that he was left out of the squad for the 3-0 win over Burnley last weekend and, earlier this week, the 3-3 UEFA Champions League match against Belgian side Anderlecht. Wenger has instead called upon French rookie Yaya Sanogo, back from injury, who some would say has had more than his fair share of chances.
With Danny Welbeck impressing since his £16million deadline-day move from Manchester United, and Olivier Giroud expected to be back in first team contention later this month, Campbell’s situation is unlikely to improve. And, according to The Mirror, this will lead to him asking to leave the Emirates Stadium when the transfer window reopens in the New Year.