Arsenal

Arsenal Transfer News: Olympiakos' Joel Campbell Wants Gunners Return

As Wayne Rooney looks on, Olympiakos' Joel Campbell celebrates after scoring the second goal of his team against Manchester United during their Champions League, round of 16, first leg soccer match at Georgios Karaiskakis stadium, in Piraeus port, near Athens, on Tuesday, Feb. 25, 2014. (AP Photo/Thanassis Stavrakis)
Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press
Nick AkermanFeatured ColumnistFebruary 26, 2014

Joel Campbell highlighted his talent with an excellent goal during Olympiakos' Champions League win over Manchester United, giving the Costa Rica international hope of making it at parent club Arsenal.

The 21-year-old signed for Arsene Wenger's side in 2011, but he is yet to make a senior appearance for the North London outfit. His excellent performance against the Red Devils—capped off with a well-placed curling shot beyond David De Gea from distance—will have certainly upped interest in his future.

As reported by Sky Sports, the versatile forward isn't getting ahead of himself:

I am still hopeful of playing for Arsenal but I have not been given the chance yet, I hope to keep working at Olympiakos. I am making sure that I take this opportunity.

Campbell also acknowledged the quality of Olympiakos' performance. Michel's team pressured United into repeatedly giving the ball away through continuous hassling and high-energy tracking back, attributes the visitors couldn't live with:

We played very well against a very good team and we weren't intimidated. There is still a very hard game at Old Trafford and we hope to advance to the next round.

Thank God I scored a goal and celebrated it with my father, girlfriend and cousins. There are many things I can improve on though, I am 21 and I have to keep working.

Campbell's performance was typical of an Arsenal player under Wenger, suggesting he could slot in nicely to the Gunners' future plans. The starlet played with pace, challenged the opposition with direct one-on-ones and helped out by sprinting back to make two tackles, per WhoScored.

Thanassis Stavrakis/Associated Press

His goal came at the end of an individual run that put United on the back foot, a feature of Olympiakos' play all night.

Upon signing Campbell from Deportivo Saprissa in 2011, Wenger was quoted as saying the following by Arsenal's official website:

Joel Campbell has already shown that he is a player with great ability, and has also performed well on the international stage at a young age. We look forward to the formalities of the transfer being completed and working with Joel when he joins us at Arsenal.

Collin Reid/Associated Press

The €1 million Wenger paid for Campbell's services is looking a real bargain after his recent display, per Chris Myson of Goal.com. Although he was eligible for a British work permit prior to the current season, Campbell's third loan spell in as many seasons allows the player to continue his development away from the pressures of the Premier League.

A regular international for Costa Rica, Campbell will face England during the 2014 World Cup in Brazil. He scored four goals in 15 qualifying matches for La Sele, recorded by FIFA, and will aim to further state his claim on football's grandest stage.

Before then, Campbell can compound United's misery with a majestic performance in the second leg at Old Trafford.

 

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