Arsenal: Joel Campbell situation can still be repaired

SAN JOSE, CA - JULY 28: Joel Campbell
SAN JOSE, CA - JULY 28: Joel Campbell /

Arsenal completely screwed the pooch with Joel Campbell, but it’s not too late. This situation can still be repaired with the right application.

There aren’t many episodes throughout the past decade at Arsenal that drive me crazier than Joel Campbell. Serge Gnabry, obviously, but that situation is beyond repair. Campbell’s unfortunate situation at the Emirates can still be fixed, but it has to come this year and it can’t be put off any longer.

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Campbell’s agent hit the nail on the head when talking up his client. Here’s what he had to say (it’s quite a bit):

"At Olympiakos, Joel had important success and the club tried several times to buy him. He was the centrepiece of a club who are regularly champions and make the Champions League – where he scored against Manchester United and they were eliminated. Arsenal have lent him several times, but I emphasise that last year he played about 30 matches in all. At Sporting, I think that overall it has been a difficult season for the club and at the end of the season we saw less game time as a loan player. It is normal that the club favours the players that belong to it. I think that as a 24-year-old player who has played in the Champions League, played a quarter-final of the World Cup, took part in championships in Spain, France, England, Greece, Portugal, he has a very important background. He continues to work every day to accumulate a significant number of games each year."

Couldn’t say it much better. Through it all, Campbell has proven that he deserves to be given a fair chance at Arsenal. He has performed everywhere he goes and most recently, he was an emergency fill-in during an injury crisis in 2015/16 before being inexplicably replaced.

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In that brief fill-in, we saw a man who, while maybe not a bonafide starter just yet, certainly belonged on the first team and deserved a chance at being more. That chance was never given to him, it was instead given to Alex Iwobi.

Campbell had his ups and downs at Sporting, as his agent indicated, but the talent is still there and when you think about this new Arsenal formation, he could absolutely fit in as a wing back, given his work ethic, or he could double as an attacking midfielder.

And naturally, he can also be a winger.

There are so many ways to use him and so much that he is good for. Unless there is something going on behind closed doors, some sort of disruption to the team chemistry, then I just don’t get it.

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It’s just like the Lucas Perez situation. Everyone sees that they deserve more. Everyone except Arsene Wenger. That can change this year though.