Arsenal and Joel Campbell: Who the hell cares?

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

Joel Campbell has stated that he wants to leave Arsenal at the end of his loan next summer. In all honesty, who the hell cares?

Arsenal have had a great number of players throughout Arsene Wenger’s tenure. As a manager who has always looked to acquire younger players and then bleed them into the senior side, it is natural to have a fluid squad that has a lot of players in it, especially ones that are both, simultaneously, in the youth and senior teams.

Related Story: Arsenal Vs Everton: Predicted starting XI

With football being such an unpredictable and turbulent sport, there are many players of which much was thought of early in their career, only for them to fail to live up to expectation later on. And vice versa. It was said of Alex Iwobi that he was not a special youngster; he simply worked hard and took his opportunity when it arose.

More from Pain in the Arsenal

Because of the in-flux nature of the squad, there are many players that are forgotten about, overlooked, loaned out to obscure European teams, before eventually leaving the club without much more than a short press release. Due to their natural talent, it is difficult to let go of these players. There is always the thought that they may be able to deliver on the potential that they promised at 18.

However, that patience is very rarely rewarded — see Denilson, Abou Diaby, Nicolas Bendtner, Carlos Vela, Jeremie Aliadere to name but a few. And now there is another name he perfectly exemplifies the pointless patience in waiting for him to deliver on his talent.

Joel Campbell is currently on loan at Real Betis. He is now 25 years of age. He is no longer a highly-touted prospect for the future. He was signed by Arsenal in 2011. This is his seventh season with the club. His current loan spell at Betis is his sixth.

And Campbell, who is in the final two years of his contract with the Gunners, has stated that he would like to leave North London, joining Betis on a permanent basis, next summer:

"“I will try to give my best this season. [Hopefully], in the end, the club is happy with what I do and they want to bet on me.”"

Now, Campbell is a perfectly adequate player who showed some glimpses of ability during his one season actually at Arsenal. But he is not the quality of player that is required. He is no better, if not worse, than many who are younger than him and already in the squad — Iwobi, Reiss Nelson, Jeff Reine-Adelaide — and he is now entering the peak of his career.  Improvements will be limited from this time forward.

Next: Arsenal Vs Everton: 5 key players to watch

Campbell wants to leave and Arsenal should let him leave. This is simply another name to add to the failed-potential list. Some may still like his talent, but his production would never match it. I find myself, harshly, asking ‘who cares?’