Shipping players out on loan in order to gain enough minutes really makes sense for the players and at times, for the clubs. Players usually have the opportunity to send a message to the managers of their parent clubs. Also, they will gain valuable experience and their budding talent will not be stifled.
However, Joel Campbell’s move to Sporting Lisbon on a season-long loan makes perfect sense for the Colombian, as he is guaranteed ample playing time as well as Champions League football. But Campbell’s departure could haunt Arsenal later on in the campaign.
Campbell appeared to have made a breakthrough into the Arsenal side last term, as he managed 19 appearances and scored three goals. He quite impressed the Gunners faithful with his tireless runs down the flanks, vision, close control, brilliant through passes in the smallest of gaps and his tracking back of opposition attackers during games.
The Costa Rican was immediately farmed out on loan after joining Arsenal from Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa in 2011. He garnered enough experience during his loan stints at Lorient, Real Betis, Olympiakos and Villareal, meaning he can adapt his play. Given Campbell’s ability to terrorise defences with his runs, the reason he was not given a chance is surprising.
The 24-year old could potentially be Arsenal’s answer to the lack of depth in the striking department. He played as a lone striker for Costa Rica in the 2014 World Cup, helping them reach the knockout stage.
Armed with pace, strong hold up play, mental strength and spacial awareness, Campbell has enough his his tank to play as a lone striker. There will be a time in the season when Campbell will be needed, but he would already by lining up for Sporting Lisbon. When the amount of injuries grow – as Arsenal players are susceptible to it – Campbell will not be there to be called upon.
Having said all these, Arsene Wenger could be making a mistake in letting Campbell leave. Or could the French boss be clearing the room for the arrival of a new forward?