Arsenal’s Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell had been expected to seal a loan move Benfica but a transfer failed to go through and the 22-year-old’s agent has criticized Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger.
Campbell’s agent Joaquim Botica spoke to Portuguese newspaper O Jogo about his client’s failed move away from the Gunners.
“Benfica fought until the last minute to sign Campbell but the move didn’t happen because, in the last hour, Arsenal decided to keep him.
“Wenger says he did not want to sell him. But if he is not in his plans, then why not allow him to leave?”
With the arrival of Danny Welbeck, Campbell is now unlikely to feature and a loan move for the Costa Rica international would have been a resolution to suit both parties but Wenger has opted to keep the 22-year-old who can also play in a wide role.
Campbell has been at Arsenal since 2011 but has been loaned out to a number of clubs across Europe. The striker impressed for Greek side Olympiakos in the Champions League last year scoring against Manchester United in their round of 16 clash.
Campbell has only made one substitute appearance this season coming off the bench as the Gunners salvaged a 2-2 draw at Goodison Park.
The Costa Rican international impressed against Benfica in the Emirates Cup, where Arsenal won 5-1 just last month. Wenger spoke to the club’s official website at the time and praised the performance of the 22-year-old.
“Campbell has done very well. I like the way he plays, he’s good on the ball, creative and collectively as well. He has a good balance between individual skill and collective attitude – that’s not easy to find.”
Campbell however is now unlikely to feature in his favored position as a central striker, but the pacey left footer could potentially add some flair and pace in a wide position if the likes Of Mesut Ozil or Alexis Sanchez were to suffer injuries as Arsenal have the Premier League and Champions League to contend with.
A £10 million transfer had been mooted to Benfica and the player’s agent is perhaps understandably upset that a deal failed to materialize and it will be interesting to see if Campbell will see many minutes on the pitch for the Gunners this season.
Dan Dalton, Pundit Arena.