Every year many football clubs send players out on loan for various reasons; in advance of a permanent deal, to gain vital first-team experience or due to registration problems such as with work-permits for foreign nationals. What does sometimes become forgotten is just how that player is getting on.
This week we take a look at the progress of Joel Campbell; currently on loan at Spanish La Liga side Real Betis from Arsenal until the end of the season. Signed by The Gunners in 2011 he rejected the chance to play with Sevilla and Fiorentina in order to move to North London. In his homeland he was being touted as the natural successor to former Derby County striker Paolo Wanchope and his form at international level backs up that claim. Seven goals in 16 caps is quite impressive for a 20-year-old.
Unfortunately he did not receive the necessary work permit to play in the UK so was sent out on loan to French side Lorient last season in a largely progressive season. With work permit troubles creeping in again this summer they sent the striker to Real Betis and we just wanted to cast an eye over his progress.
The word mixed springs to mind.
Overall he has featured just six times this season and scored the one goal. In fact that goal came this weekend and what a goal it was. With his side drawing 2-2 against Deportivo La Coruna and with just 15 minutes remaining he received the ball from 30 yards out on the right wing, cut inside onto his left foot and rifled a magnificent effort into the far top corner passed the helpless Aranzubia in goal for Depor.
It was a timely reminder of his talents after what has so far been a frustrating spell in Andalusia. In October it was said the management in Seville were becoming slightly perturbed by his commitments to the Costa Rica national team that saw him more often or not unavailable for selection. He has also been adopted more often than not as a wide-man for the club, drifting in from the right as he did this weekend to fire in the winner; however he is out of position as the pacy striker is a number 9 who could be benefiting from the expertise of Benat in midfield behind him.
He received a red-card in September after just 19 minutes on the pitch against Atletico Madrid which would not have helped his situation with the management at the club.
His appearance against Depor was his first since November the 5th but hopefully for Arsenal fans his weekend goal could be the start of a more regular place in the Real Betis line-up and potentially a bright future for the young forward.
Here is his goal from the weekend past…
image: © wonker