Young Guns Column: Time To Utilise Joel Campbell


At the World Cup as we watched England humiliated, which made us dejected, there was a shining light that got us all excited. That man was Joel Campbell, who was a key-figure in a Costa Rican side that set the competition alight in Brazil. After years on loan, it was time for Campbell to return to the Emirates, where Arsene Wenger had a space in the squad just for him.

Unfortunately, that space seems to be on the bench or way down in the pecking order, which is resulting in a big chance that we will lose this young talent come January. Inter Milan, Roma and plenty of other clubs are sniffing around the services of the youngster, yet Arsene Wenger refuses to give him the opportunity.

Let’s face it, Arsenal haven’t been in top form yet this season so there is no reason there as to why Joel Campbell can’t break into the side. He has the talent and he clearly has the desire, all he needs is the chance and now it’s time we gave him exactly that. Whether it be a starting spot for a game, or an introduction off the bench, Campbell must be used.

Mark my words, if we let Joel Campbell leave in January we will live to regret it. He’s a player who has the ability to become a key player for us in the future, so leaving him out of the side and making him unhappy isn’t really helping the situation. Give him is chance to impress, let him show us that he is capable.

If for some reason it doesn’t work out then so be it, at least if he moves on then we can say he got the chance. What we don’t want is for him to remain outside the squad and then move on, leaving us to wonder what might have been. There’s starting places in the squad up for grabs and there is under performing players, it’s time to mix it up.

We’re coming to a run of fixtures where we can rotate the squad and give others the chance to impress. We should be able to see ourselves defeat the likes of Hull City and Sunderland without our full strength side, which is rather convenient considering half our squad is keeping the treatment table crowded.

Unless things chance, unfortunately I can only see Campbell featuring in two scenarios. Number one is our injury troubles worsen, leaving us no choice, and the other is for the final Champions League game, where history suggests we will have qualified, play a weakened and inexperienced side, lose and subsequently finish runners-up in the group.

Don’t let either of those happen. Should he be needed, make sure Campbell is ready. If he doesn’t get the chance, then he truly is wasted at Arsenal and I would not expect him to stay at the club for much longer. He needs football, we need something different. The stage is set.

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