Arsenal forward Joel Campbell joined Sporting Lisbon on a season-long loan deal earlier on in the week and the player has now revealed Arsene Wenger wanted him to stay.
Campbell said the Gunners manager urged him to stay put at the Emirates but he pushed through with a move to the Portuguese Primeira Liga to play for Sporting. The Costa Rican chose to join Jorge Jesus’ side as he believed he would earn ample game time, as well as Champions League football.
Despite some brilliant performances when he got the chance at Arsenal, Campbell remained on the peripheral under Wenger, with the likes of Alexis Sanchez, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain ahead of him in the pecking order. With the arrival of a new striker incoming, Campbell opted for a loan move again.
The Sporting Lisbon transfer will be Campbell’s fifth loan spell since joining Arsenal from Costa Rican outfit Deportivo Saprissa in 2011 and, the left-footed attacker has now revealed the desire to play football was a determining factor in his transfer.
“I made that decision because I’m at an important stage in my football life, an ideal age to grow”, the 24-year old told Costa Rican newspaper Nacion.
“When I realised I was not going to play as much as I wanted I thought it would be better to go on loan. In reality going on loan has been my request.
“I have ambition. I want to play, and I love football. Truth is I don’t feel comfortable not playing every Sunday. I don’t want to settle for less.
“The coach told me he would have liked me to stay, but playing is my priority and if I’m not 100% on his plans, then I prefer to go on loan and play football.”