Arsene Wenger has revealed it is “now or never” for forward Joel Campbell at Arsenal. He joined the Gunners in 2011 and since then has been away from the club on loan.
The 23-year-old had an impressive loan spell with Real Betis and Olympiacos, just before the 2014 FIFA World Cup. His club form saw him make it to the Costa Rica’s national squad for the World Cup, where they reached the quarter final of the tournament.
Campbell was allowed to leave on loan earlier in the January transfer window earlier this year. He was included as a part of the swap deal, which allowed the north London club to sign defender Gabriel Paulista.
The South American is now at the Emirates and has seen his first team opportunities limited. The Guardian reports Campbell could be handed his first Premier League start when Arsenal take on Swansea City. Wenger has warned the forward to take his chance and failing to do so could likely bring an end to his time at the Emirates in the coming transfer window.
“I wanted to keep him here, I felt he has been on loan two or three times and that it is now or never for him with us,” Wenger explained, as reported by Sky Sports.
“For him, as well, you belong to a club, you go one time out, two times out then after that you don’t know any more if you belong to the club or not.”
“He has two positions – right side and centre-forward. He is a bit of a mixture between Walcott and (Olivier) Giroud. He likes to play with his back to goal like Giroud, but as well is a bit of a dribbler.”
Arsenal are already without the services of England international duo of Theo Walcott and Danny Welbeck. The ex-Southampton man picked up a calf injury in the Gunners’ 3-0 shock Capital One Cup defeat to Sheffield Wednesday.
In addition to this, Welbeck has not featured for Wenger’s side this season. The former Manchester United forward is expected to return to action next year. Despite these injury woes, Arsenal scout Brian McDermott suggests Wenger is unlikely to bring in a striker in the mid-season transfer window.
This could allow Campbell to showcase his talent and Wenger’s comments clearly suggests this is his last chance to make it at Arsenal.