Wanchope backs Campbell for Arsenal chance


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.





  1. I for one believe Campbell is ready for the premier league. He’s full of confidence, shoots from outside the box, can play on the wing and as ST. He has really matured, even from the interviews you can tell he has a good head on his shoulders. Time to bring him home.

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      • for now… Sanogo really looks like a (very) rough talent with a lot of capability. He’s in the right moments, at the right time, with the right ideas, but no execution. I feel like it will come with a good loan season and/or more training with the first team. Not to mention his pace and strength is already a huge improvement.

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        • Any additions to the squad welcome. With half our defence leaving I just can’t see us signing enough players. We now need LB, RB, CB, DM, LW, ST. In one summer? Really? This is Arsenal we’re talking about remember. I expect an underwhelming next few months. Hope I’m not right.

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        • If he can produce the form he’s shown so far in the Global Interlull for us, a really bloody good excuse!
          That’s the sort of striker we’d really want to sign, if we were going to and didn’t already have him on the books.

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  2. He really did impress against Uruguay. Looking forward to seeing how he plays against England and Italy.

    I’m just hoping that even if he has a superb tournament, that doesn’t make Arsene have second thoughts about buying a world class striker. I’m sure it won’t, but you never know with Arsene – loves his internal solutions.

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    • wenger, obviously isn’t convinced by him. everything’s he said has been extremely noncommittal. i doubt he’ll be offered a new contract and will do fairly well in spain.

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  3. What really impresses me with him is his shooting ability and his confidence. Shoots and scores on first touch, even from long distance.

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  4. Arsenal’s official website have an article up saying “current gunner djourou plays for switzerland”.
    So this obviously the deal to stay at Hamburg is either not true or not actually completed.
    He might be part of the squad next season

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  5. I just hope Campbell doesn’t get a sense of entitlement (provided he can replicate the Uruguay performance) after the World Cup.

    If he can keep his wits about him and accept he is still really bottom of the food chain, but have the mental maturity to take his chances when they come and get on with it if they don’t, then he can be a useful player for us next season.

    Hopefully he doesn’t let the hype go to his head and ruin himself before he’s even begun.

    We shall see, fuckn can’t wait for next season already!!

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  6. He seems to be a player who really enjoys the big games. (UCL and now the World Cup).

    Of course I don’t expect him to solve all our attacking problems but there is something really exciting about him.

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  7. He should certainly be given game time in Pre-season. More than likely be in the 1st team, Wenger said he was too lightweight when he came but he had the ability to change games. He was the difference for Costa Rica.

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  8. I think Campbell is just what we need. A pacy, direct winger who can play up front and can bang in goals. Would still like to see us sign Reus (we have the money) but I think he’ll stay at Dortmund for now.

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    • At least he can enrich our bench. Sanogo is surely inferior to Campbell. Our poor reserve is our greatest undoing. Is there a management team in Arsenal FC?

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  9. Gotta say against Uruguay the kid stole the show! Looking forward to seeing what he can do as a gooner.

    on an unrelated topic i just read that Cesc said he only joined Chelsea because Arsenal said no to him, bit of a kick in the teeth for Chelsea haha.

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  10. I think he looks better than Sanogo and he has been afforded more opportunities than Campbell (work permit issues aside). I would send Sanogo out on loan, sign an awesome striker and have Campbell as the reserve.

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  11. I would definitely have him back and put him in instead of Sanogo and see what he does in the PL. Don’t forget he was impressive in the CL games too!

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  12. Give Campell a chance. I for one want to bring back and adapt our ‘super Kevin Campbell’ song. Let’s face it…our songs for players are shit, so let’s recycle the old hits. Heh…

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  13. I wanted a player in the image of Campbell at The Arsenal, he is a player in the model of bitey, tevez and aguero, such players always excite me with the pace, treachery, agility and their keen eye for goal they however need a strike partner and Olivier Giroud would be just that.
    Campbell would be able to run past him and with both his and Theo’s pace and özil’s keen eye, this just might kill defences.

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  14. Player with less quality have been given a chance. So i think he certainly deserves a chance to prove himself @ arsenal..

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  15. Every time a Costa Rican scores against United, their team wins. It’s footballing fact:
    Wanchope for Derby
    Oviedo for Everton
    Campbell for Olympiacos

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  16. Cracking performance from Campbell, he ran a very decent defence ragged, his pass for the 3rd goal was beautifully weighted too.

    He is certainly an option and would add some depth to our squad, he should come back to fight for a place, if he’s any sense he will see that the likes of Walcott and Chamberlain have been given the chance to perform at a young age…

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  17. I hope he gets a chance, this is why we bought him after all. He played well against Uruguay, but he was in his element in sunny Brazil. Hopefully he can cut it when it is pissing down with rain and Stoke are kicking lumps out of him. We need another pacey winner and he could be the chap to fill those boots!

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  18. Robbie savage “It was definitely a red card, you cant kick out Thierry…”

    Theirry Henry ” (Serious face) yes Robbie, but im French so it wasn’t a red card haha”.

    Fucking love you man

    Ps keep kicking ass joel

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  19. Remember when we signed this guy from saprissa like its yesterday and sir Alex ferguson was fuming about his choice of chosing Arsenal over man.utd.have always knew there is something special about this Guy.really top talent he is.

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    • yeah, just hope he’s given a chance. i’m rather doubtful he will though — wenger will plump for some immobile giroud-like player to pin the ball off of.

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  20. what I took from the cesc’s saga is that Ozil, Wilshere, Ramsey etc. will have to justify the faith Wenger has had in them by not re-signing cesc.
    Joel is such a talent, I think he will go on to make a name for himself.
    campbell+griezman+balotelli=pace, creativity, goals, goals goals!! Wenger please!

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      • and it’s been what…. close to 1000 days for Joel.

        You don’t have to dwell on everything negative happening in the world all of the time. It’s a truly terrible event but life continues and will do while they look for those girls.

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  21. Man, Blogs and the Hound really are pissed we didn’t sign Cesc. I wonder for how long you’ll keep referring to the incident (first link in the article). There’s is a reason why he was not offered the chance to battle for a place in the team, and that’s because he didn’t want it in the first place. So what’s changed now? I for one am happy. Cesc contributed to our downfall, and now we are on our way back to the top. We don’t care for whoever blew their chance of being great with us in search of greener pastures.

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  22. Oh, how soon we forget how we alone spent all that time scurrying around the Caribbean trying to sign the lad for thruppence.

    But, good though his game against Uruguay was, it was just the one game. We now get to see him play against both England and Italy. How nice will that be?

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  23. The thing that’s so exciting about this kid is his attitude. He’s got the talent too, but what makes him seem like such a breath of fresh air is that Henry-like confidence. In the Uruguay game and in his time at Olympiakos you see again and again when given the chance he grabs it by the scruff of the neck. You hardly ever see him send a pass back when he’s got a chance to do something more positive.

    There’s one clip of a goal of his at olympkiakos that gives you shivers when you watch it. The one where he chips the ball over the last defender in a move that would have made Bergkamp proud. He just slightly overdoes it, and the goalkeeper comes out and you think that’s that. But this kid doesn’t give up. He goes steaming in, the goalkeeper can’t keep a hold of it, and Campbell ends up putting it into the net from a sitting position with a bicycle kick. The great thing about it is not only that he tries to take it over the last defender but that he doesn’t just try the flair move and then give up when it doesn’t come off perfectly, he follows in and makes something out of it even when it looks like the chance is gone. So many flair players will try the flair and then just shrug when it doesn’t work. It’s really exciting to see a young player who has both flair and graft in his game.

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  24. Even last year he should have been playing instead of the raw Sanogo. dunno what Arsene was thinking, surely that should have been a no brainer.

    send sanogo on loan, get campbell, falcao and giroud as our strikers.

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  25. The first interview Özil gave as to why he signed was that he was going to be the main man; the one around whom the team will be built. Signing Fabregas would have said to him that he is not the main man. The faith Wenger has shown in him will boost his confidence to no end. I am extremely proud of the class and loyalty of our manager and don’t doubt it will be repaid with a player of the season performance by Özil.

    As for a striker, to me Balotelli has it all – power, pace, flair, finishing, and he loves the big games. Also, most importantly he terrifies opposition defenders. Also, he is only 23. Based on reports (or lack of them), I believe he is really starting to mature, and any problems with temperament, I am sure Wenger can eradicate them.

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  26. Couldn’t hurt to promote him … He offers something different to what we have up front currently. A solid back up and potentially a future regular player.

    Obviously a world class striker would be nice this summer, but this is arsenal transfer business we are talking.

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