Joel Campbell has joined Sporting Lisbon on loan for the 2016/17 season as confirmed via the clubs twitter account, a rather surprising development considering the lack of attacking options available to Arsene Wenger.
Campbell, who made just 14 starts for the Gunners last season, has showed his quality on a number of occasions probing delicate through-balls and well-taken finishes that saw him finish the campaign with three goals and four assists. The Costa Rica international enjoyed a decent pre-season under Wenger but obviously has failed to convince the Frenchman to retain his services for the remainder of the campaign.
Sporting Lisbon’s official twitter account confirmed the deal on Sunday afternoon, explaining the Costa Rican’s absence from Arsenal’s squad for the opening Premier League fixtures.
It's official! Campbell joins Sporting Lisbon on loan https://t.co/dC8xXOxs3v
— AllArsenal (@AllArsenalnews) August 21, 2016
Campbell faces plenty of competition from the likes of Alex Iwobi (recently injured), Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain and Theo Walcott in wide positions, while a potential striker signing means Campbell would fall even further down the pecking order.
Considering the injury record of the aforementioned players and Wenger’s recent luck in the transfer market, this seems an odd decision for a player who has the ability to make a difference. Perhaps the Arsenal boss is convinced he will sign a striker after all.
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Campbell possesses obvious talent but has struggled to hold down a place consistently in north London and another loan move away makes sense for his development at a crucial part of his career. Best of luck to Joel.