Campbell and Coquelin return to Arsenal with contrasting outlooks


Four members of the Arsenal first-team squad spent part of last season on loan. Of those, Ju-Young Park is poised to officially leave the club at the end of the month, whilst Johan Djourou is set to seal a permanent switch to Hamburg.

The remaining two players, Joel Campbell and Francis Coquelin, could well play a considerable part in Arsenal’s pre-season preparations, but the pair will return to Arsenal with rather contrasting outlooks for the immediate future.

Coquelin, who recently turned 23, spent the season with Freiburg, but failed to make a sustained impact for the German side as he was frequently forced to play on the left wing and was often not selected at all. A defensive midfielder by trade with a penchant for crunching challenges, his star has waned a little in recent seasons after he failed to establish himself as a regular for Arsene Wenger’s side.

He still has a year to run on his contract and could potentially provide some useful cover at both right-back and in defensive-midfield, but, for the sake of his own development, it would perhaps be better for Coquelin to move elsewhere on a permanent basis in an attempt to relaunch what, not too long ago, appeared to be a rather promising career.

Campbell is a different matter entirely. The athletic youngster, who can operate either as a winger or as a central striker, has made countless headlines this week following his stellar showing for Costa Rica in their victory over Uruguay in the World Cup, in which he both scored and assisted.

Campbell has had to be mightily patient for his opportunity, initially encountering work permit problems upon signing for Arsenal that meant that he was sent out first to Lorient, then to Real Betis and finally to Olympiacos. It was during the latter spell that the youngster really thrived, with his goal against Manchester United in the Champions League a particular highlight.

He certainly seems a player who is unfazed by the big occasion, too, having previously found the net against Spain in 2011. The only negative from an Arsenal perspective is that his pre-season will be rather truncated as a consequence of his involvement in the World Cup, particularly if Costa Rica were to progress from the group stages.

Once he is available, however, the very least that Arsenal can do is to provide him with an opportunity to impress in the early months of next season.

Jeorge Bird is the author of  Follow him on Twitter @jeorgebird


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53 Comments on "Campbell and Coquelin return to Arsenal with contrasting outlooks"

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I feel for Coquelin because he was set up to fail at Freiburg. Why loan him if you’re going to play him on the wing? Honestly always liked what I saw of him at Arsenal, if there’s room in the squad I wouldn’t mind him getting one last chance, but I think that probably won’t happen.

Gary Baldy

Agreed. I always thought he made a difference when he came on, he shored things up when we needed to hold the game.

If he does turn out to be a ‘new ‘ addition to midfield there will be those who wail and gnash but if it frees funds for another chunk of cash elsewhere, like up front, perhaps it’s no bad thing for us.
I would have thought he could certainly be a replacement for Flamini or Arteta at various times during the season.

As for Campbell, I hope he can show enough in pre-season to convince Wenger to include him in the first-team squad as another option up front, as long as he is prepared to fight for his place with Walcott, Gnabry and The Ox, or even Giroud and A.N. Other !


I think Coq deserves another chance without a doubt, he made some impressive performances for us a few seasons back and surely he can replicate that. He’s been played out of position and has lost game time at Freiburg, it’s unfair to judge his ability considering this.

Bould's Eyeliner

We all said the same thing about Ramsey on the wing… and Wilshere on the wing… hmmm….

Springbank 1965

Quite excited about Campbell coming to the Emirates.

His goal against ManU and his performance against Uruguay have given a positive hint that he might have something about him. Not bad for £600k of investment.


He’s 23 already? Fuck, I’m sure he joined us as a 16 year old!

rj gooner

I honestly forgot we still had Coquelin! Shows how much of a successful loan spell he must of had


* must HAVE had


Love The Cock and his energy in going in for tackles.

Shame there is no room for him.


Always room for another cock


As long as he can stay upright.

The Beast

Any player who can score a spectacular against man United and help us beat them should play for Arsenal and that player is Joel Campbell.

Alright Mate

I think Coquelin’s main issue is he was not willing to play the holding role. He wanted to be box-to-box, a position where we have lots of talent. If he was willing to stay back and anchor the midfield, and back up Arteta (before Flamini arrived) and slowly get more game time, he may have had a future with us.


Eh? Le Coq always looked the consummate positional player sent to do a job to me.

The question is does/can he do that well enough for our Arsenal on the Rise.


It’s a toughie really as Campbell’s two positions are both areas we would hope are strengthened in this window. That would put him 3rd in the pecking order in both positions. Of course players will get injured, we are the Arsenal after all, but he’s still competing with Sanogo and Gnabry for that third choice place which isn’t really fair considering he’s one of the only boys that has gone to these various clubs we ship our players off to and actually had an impact. Perhaps Gnabry could do with a season at a lowly premiership club or championship club and maybe a shorter loan for Sanogo. It’s a definite head scratcher. I miss Tommy Eisfeld.


It would make sense to keep Coquelin for the up coming season, especially if Serge Aurier is signed as our new right back. When he scoots off to the ACON. Coquelin could then provide cover to Carl Jenkinson.

Would love to see Joel Campbell given a real shot at a career at Arsenal. An attacking three of Campbell, Gnabry and Oxlade-Chamberlain, behind Cazorla, Ozil and Walcott is not too shabby at all.

Sadly I think he will be left to leave especially if we can get £10m for him going into the final year of his contract.

Black Hei

Coquelin might have been too impatient with his career.

He is a very good tackler, very quick but need more experience with his positioning. I think he can develop to be a good player but he needs to keep his feet grounded first.

Would love to see him get a chance in the Carling Cup.


Is there any word on the young lad Wellington Silva? I know he spent a few seasons in Spain but is he still an Arsenal player?

Gary Baldy

Yeah, he got the boot !!!!

It’s okay, I know . . . I’ll get my coat . . . .


Yes he still is an Arsenal player. Contaract expires in 2015.
He was impressive at Murcia this year though

Gareth Murray

He’s been at Murcia this season in Liga Adelante, I say this season as it’s not over yet. Murcia Lost to Cordoba in last week’s second leg of the play off semi final for promotion to La Liga, a match which Wellington came off the bench and scored. He’s mostly been on the bench and when deployed is used on the right wing or in an inside right position (if those still exist). He’s quite quick but I can honestly say having seen him a few times that Liga Adelante is probably his station. Definitely not good enough for the Premier League nevermind Arsenal.


I have a crazy feeling that Balotelli is coming to Arsenal after his Queen comment on twitter. Perhaps he knew that the Queen is an Arsenal fan, and he has a proper chance to get a peck on his cheek if he join us.

Finsbury Park Gooner

That Balotelli comment totally cheered up my bus ride to work this morning.



Maybe Le Coq is the answer to our defensive midfield problem? Sure we all want a Khedira or a Schweinsteiger, but this guy was always pretty good at the job I thought, if a little raw. Maybe a humbling loan spell will be the kick up the arse he needed.

Ok ok, I’m being overly optimistic I know, but there’s a decent player in Le Coq who, given a second chance, could be a real terrier in our midfield. He’s pretty good with the ball at his feet too (from memory anyway).

Who knows? Given a decent pre-season, and we could find we’ve got a real player on our hands. Rambo’s rise to prominence was off the back of a decent pre-season, and you wouldn’t change him now for anyone in world football.

Do we give Le Coq that chance? Does AW actually know best? We’ll see I suppose.


But if he goes. We won’t be able to chant for Arsenal to get their coque out :/


If we sell coquelin he will be to us what pogba is to united (a man can dream)


Certainly Arsenal would consider bringing Coquelin back in the fold with the current crop of back line midfielders, however Diaby will certainly acquire that roster spot and any of that playing time. While they are wildly different players Diaby is clearly valued a level higher than Coquelin.

Campbell though should easily vie with Sanogo as the second striker. As many believe Arsenal will bring in a new striker this summer, I’d be surprised that player isn’t a complement to Giroud and not a direct competitor. Still Campbell provides a “plan B” to Arsenal to Giroud, being players with different skill sets if a new world class first team striker is brought in. And Campbell’s roster spot can clearly be one of the departing striker’s spots (Park & Bendtner) leaving a spot open.

Al Gilmore

Maybe Le Coq’s problem is the Phil Neville one – half-decent in a couple of positions but not outstanding in them. So he either needs a spell out on loan to a team that intends to play him in midfield or at full-back. I like the lad, he has aggression.

I think if we get the numbers of players we need, that it should allow much more freedom for Le Boss to play a genuine second string in the cup games, without feeling it’s a massive dip in quality. Let the first string concentrate on PL and Cl.

As for Campbell. No brainer, bring him back. He is versatile, he can finish, he sees a pass, he is strong and he has a thunderbolt shot.

Policeman's Bangers 'N' Mash
Policeman's Bangers 'N' Mash

Campbell scores on the big stage, last season Giroud didn’t; this could work out!


suarez too , he can only goal vs average team like norwich,spurs and england 😉


Giroud’s done pretty well on the big stage so far in Brazil.


it is a shame about coquelin, i think he will only get better, this loan to freiburg had disaster written all over it.
As a club we should really look into where the player is going and what his role will be. insert clauses ,
if we could have brought him back in january it would have been better than kallstrom.

I remember him and frimpong playing in the capital cup and he was practically the man of the match that day.

Obviously the manager and coaches know better but I feel young players who are defensive midfielders or defenders if they are purchased from another club should stay on there for at least couple more years at least they get the football they require.

2 – 3 year loans will be good for defensive minded players.

Coquelin should have extended his loan at lorient it would have been better for him and us.

on the flipside he could have learnt the lows of football at freiburg and inspire him to be better

campbell will be good for us – a real confident talent, who will put the effort in.

a little gutted that aneke wont be coming back – wasnt he approached by barca?


No, though Aneke was highly rated as a kid, it was Afobe who was pursued by Barca – at least they sent scouts to watch him in the under-17s. Sad he never fulfilled his early promise. Too many injuries too young and several discouraging loan spells.

Have always liked Coquelin. Hope he makes it, preferably with us, though I’m not that optimistic he’ll be given the chance.


Get campbell in the squad.


it looks like all the hope of getting a well rounded, hard tackling Coq protruding through the middle have been lost.

Doubting Thomas

Is it just me who wouldn’t be surprised if he didnt want to come…back to Arsenal? he’s thriving elsewhere, looks like he’s enjoying his football and the weather is shit here. Nah mean?

Let's Find Hleb!!!

Coquelin certainly deserves a chance

why u cwy

Coquelin…., it doesn’t mean cock up my arse, or cock on my head, or…
Simon: …you got some cock in the back of a van…
Will: Or that I got some cock in the back of a van!

Mr. White

In pre season, I hope he plays at RB and I’m sure he’ll do a good job there cos with Coq, we probably wouldn’t need a new one. We all love him, he knows the club, the league and the players very well. Campbell looks a decent player but not sure how he’ll get much game time even if we send Sanogo on loan. We’ll have Giroud and that new striker and on the left we’ve got Cazorla and Poldi. It’ll be really hard for him but hopefully he can fit in well and have a real impact next season no matter how little he plays

Atletico Islington

Campbell having another great game. Young, talented and seemingly fearless.

Humble Gooner

And Balotelli is anonymous. I’m against signing him up. He’s a great YouTube compilation player but petulant and only has rare moments of brilliance. Doesn’t work for others or do well in 1-v-1. Sanchez would be a dream fit with Campbell coming back. Both can play up the middle or wide, and both give their all.


Highly amusing to read some positive verbiage here. Arseblog berated Arsenal’s incompetence in the transfer window in which Joel was acquired for a mere 1M with a very boring dissertation on roast pig featuring Dick Law and ‘the huge cost of having him in Costa Rica for a WHOLE fortnight while negotiations were underway with Joel and his dad’. This was followed by months and months of references to Joel’s signing as all that is wrong with Arsenal and their transfer nouse and negotiating skills competence. Arsene could probably sell him now for 15M before he’s even kicked a ball in earnest for the ‘good guys’. Arsene knows, Arseblog doesn’t.


No Balotelli please…


Coquelin Mertesacker koscielny gibbs
Wilshire Ramsey
Walcott ozil cazorla

Jenkinson vermaelen miquel monreal
Arteta flamini
Chamberlain rosicky podolski

Bellerin ajayi Pleguezuelo ormonde-ottewill
Hayden diaby
Gnabry Eisfeld ryo

Moore wright oconnor chatzitheodoris
Olsson zelalem
Wellington jebb toral

Things aren’t too bad even without more signings, but two or three world class signings could make all the difference.


Could you guys stop with the”new striker to compliment/assist giroud” stuff?? We need a new striker to REPLACE giroud. Sanogo should go on loan and improve his finishing. So it should be a new striker , giroud and campbell. And i feel we need a real winger…we only got gnabry, poldi and theo.


For me this highlights one of Wenger’s short comings that is the root cause of our failure to push on – he insists on using a relatively small nucleus of players for game after game resulting in over-used players who are more susceptible to injuries.

Why not use the full squad including players such as Coq and Campbell and allow players to recover fully from matches rather than play the same few players game after game?

Wenger also appears to be far more risk-averse in giving younger players a chance which makes it very difficult for them to make a break through.

Tony Hall

Very mucb hope to see Joel playing in our first team next season. The lad has earned his chance,. He is fearless, full of energy, not fazed by big occasions and has been very patient. He can play on the wing or up front, it really is a no brainer. We still need a big name striker but we have room for a talent like Joel. I predict big things for him.

ramsey's spirit

personally im not quie ready to give up on coquelin. i would renew his contract at a fair but not high rate and loan him only to clubs in big need of a dm on the condition that he plays as a dm, possible fc lorient in france etc or a top championship team pushing for promotion make them the kind of offer like he will cost you x per month % of his wages, but if you play him for x % of total mins available per season we will reimburse you at season end, i know its not exactly good business but it will ensure our loanees get more substantial experience in their roles and when you consider what it might save in future transfers or make in them should we be well stocked there i think it can work


This team had no balls in recent years, maybe we grow some if we get a Coq first

Ugandan Gooner

Wud love Coquelin to extend his contract at Arsenal purely for that fantastic morning headline….”Coq extends stay in the Arse”


we got a striker in Campbell


Which is why I am not sure why so many harp on about getting another attacking midfield asset

Our priorities have always been RB, CB, GK and the striker

Campbell should come back into the team as a striker/winger.

AND I think we really ought to have a very close look at James Rodriguez who can play a number 10 role for us (RVP/Berkamp role) or out wide.

With both Campbell and Rodriguez, we will have alternate assets a plenty to Giroud/Sanogo.

Spend the money on Rodriguez and bring Campbell back into the fold for free.


Anyone-else unhappy about Dick Law?

He also concluded the Ozil deal.