Arsenal legend and now Sky Sports football pundit Paul Merson has said that Gunners boss Arsene Wenger should consider offloading Costa Rican international Joel Campbell to Aston Villa in January according to Metro.
The former Arsenal midfielder, who during his playing career served at both clubs, thinks that the 23-year-old San Jose native has not done enough to justify his place at the Emirates and should be moved on once the January transfer window opens for business in just under three weeks’ time.
“I still think he’s got a very long to go,” Merson told Sky Sports (via Metro).
“If everyone’s fit, he’s so far down the pecking order.
“I don’t know if Arsene Wenger is looking at his current form and thinking ‘I might get £8-9million in January’.
“This lad is getting a taste and he’ll want to play football, and he won’t get that at Arsenal unless they have a lot of injuries.
“Aston Villa would take him.”
While Merson has a point that Campbell might struggle to get playing time when Wenger has a full squad available, surely the youngster proved himself during the match against Olympiacos and needs to be kept on board, if only for insurance as Arsenal challenges for this seasons Premier League title.
We might be a little confused, but did not Wenger tell Merson’s employers Sky Sports back in July that Arsenal were no longer a selling club when he said: “The time where we had to sell our best players is over for sure.
“We had five or six years where we were financially restricted, we had to balance the books and we had to pay the stadium back. This time has gone.
“It was a very sensitive period, and mentally a difficult period, but now we are over that.
“Now we are competing with everybody on the financial front and I think we can keep our best players.”
So saying this why would you sell a player for £8 or £9 million when in a couple of years’ time given the right circumstances he could be worth double if not triple that amount?
As for Myerson’s comments on Aston Villa signing him, we can certainly see new manager Rémi Garde bringing in January enforcements to help keep the club in the Premiership for next season, but with plenty of young players at the club it will be old experienced players that the Frenchman will sign in the hope of keeping the Villains up.
He may however be fighting a losing battle as no team sitting on just six points at this stage of the season has ever been able to escape the drop.