Costa Rica’s assistant manager Paulo Wanchope has backed Joel Campbell to make a career at Arsenal and hinted that there’s more to come from the striker at this summer’s World Cup.
The 21-year-old hasn’t played any football for the Gunners since moving from homeland club Saprissa in 2011, however, with a match-winning performance against Uruguay under his belt and three years of European experience garnered from loan spells at Lorient, Real Betis and Olympiakos, he’s set to be offered the chance to battle for a first team place by Arsene Wenger.
“Joel really wants to go back to Arsenal and play and I told him that the only way to do that was by performing on the pitch,” said former Derby County star Wanchope.
“He did well against Uruguay and I think that he needs to perform even better against Italy and England to have that chance to go back to Arsenal. I’m sure that Arsène Wenger will have a look at him.”
Wanchope certainly knows better than most what it takes to succeed in the Premier League. A Costa Rican trail blazer in England he scored over 60 Premier League goals in eight years for the likes of Derby, West Ham and Manchester City paving the path for the likes of Bryan Ruiz and Bryan Oviedo who are currently contracted to Fulham and Everton respectively.
Whether Campbell can follow in his footsteps (and what footsteps they were…just ask Manchester United) remains to be seen, although wih two-years left on his contract at Arsenal there’s neither a rush to promote or offload him. It’s difficult to imagine him being THE answer to our summer striker quest, but he could be part of a solution providing decent back-up off the bench and in the cup competitions.