One of the players that had a decent end to last season for Arsenal was Joel Campbell. The 24-year-old Costa Rican was on the periphery of the team for most of the last season but he got a chance to impress when injuries hit a few of the Arsenal players, one of them being Alexis Sanchez and the youngster did shine in the few appearances he got.
Campbell has never really fit in the Arsenal team, even though he is one talented player and more often than not, he does show his talent for the Costa Rica side, everyone does remember the 2014 World Cup in Brazil but for some reason Arsene Wenger hasn’t trusted the now 24-year-old and has sent him out on loan a number of times.
The winger did win over the crowd at the Emirates with his performances as he notched up four goals and five assists. He did make 11 starts in the Premier League but he is determined to make a claim for a starting position this season ahead of the start of the season.
Speaking on his official site, Campbell has this to say, “I have had a good holiday and now I am happy to train, to return strong, to prepare myself well in this preseason for the new campaign for which I have high expectations and I will fight with everything to have the opportunity to play and to show what I can give.”
Those are big words from the Costa Rican, seeing as to how Arsenal and Arsene would be planning to get more quality into the side but the player should take heart from his performances last season and should build upon them.
One player, he should look at for inspiration has to be Francis Coquelin. The French midfielder slowly made his way to the Arsenal side and once he got in the starting XI there was no holding him back. He became one of the best defensive midfielders in the Premier League and now you cannot imagine an Arsenal team without him.
There was one factor working in favour for Coquelin and that was the lack of a proper defensive midfielder in the Arsenal team, the only player who could have done a similar job was Mathieu Flamini and the older Frenchman was not the most mobile player last time around for Arsenal.
Campbell though has a much tougher task on his hands this season, as usual, since Arsenal already have a lot of quality out wide and even when it comes to the centre of the attack with Mesut Ozil, Alexis Sanchez, Aaron Ramsey and the ever growing and impressive Alex Iwobi.
One thing that should work in his favour is the impact he has off the bench, it is a guarantee that he will be on the bench for most of the opening games but it is in preseason where Campbell can add a few doubts to Arsene’s selection issues.
The Gunners do have a few games before the start of the Premier League campaign and if Campbell does do well, he should get a few chances in the league as well since many of the Euro 2016 and Copa American 2016 stars would not be returning to the side for a while.
This is the opportunity for the Costa Rican and if he can perform to the levels expected, he could become one of the surprise starters from the Premier League this season and would have finally fulfilled his potential, at least we hope.