Last season at least one of Arsenal’s loan stars had what could be called a productive time away from the club. As while Nicklas Bendtner and Maraoune Chamakh might have failed miserably in their time away from North London a certain young Costa Rican had a progressive campaign.
Joel Campbell went out to Real Betis last season and the 21-year-old featured in 32 games for the club. While his goal return was hardly inspiring that was mainly due to his switch from a centre forward to a winger whilst in Seville.
He was, nonetheless, impressive in the Verdiblanco of Betis; and manager Pepe Mel was actively seeking to bring him in again this season. Considering the two clubs now share what is called a ‘collaborative agreement’ it seemed a deal that would pass through without issue.
Essentially, as with most things, it all boils down to money. Last season Arsenal paid the bulk of Campbell’s salary while he earned regular first-team football but that was not a favour about to happen two years on the bounce.
This term they wanted Betis to pay all of his wages, which was not plausible in the clubs current budget.
But as fast as it became clear he would not be on his way to Betis another team came and jumped in their grave; Greek champions Olympiakos.
Campbell is expected to agree a move to the Piraeus outfit on Friday (26th July 2013) in order to continue his first-team development elsewhere.
It was long believed that Arsenal would look to give him experience of domestic football this season; with the chances of a successful Work Permit application looking as favourable as ever. In the end however they have decided he will continue to ply his trade abroad, but under the tutelage of respected Spanish manager Michel he will also be expected to play a similar style to Arsenal; perhaps a factor in deciding that Olympiakos were the team for him.
One thing Campbell can expect at Olympiakos that will make Arsenal envious is what they have missed for so long; silverware.
Olympiakos are currently in a similar position to Celtic in their domestic league with nearest rivals Panathinaikos crippled by poor finances and unable to put up a fight.
He will also play in Europe; with the club already assured of a place in the Champions’ League Group Stage.
So while Real Betis may have lost out Arsenal will still feel happy with the location they have managed to negotiate for a star youngster.
With the hope he returns from Greece ready to become a first-team regular in 2014-15.
Do you think Olympiakos is a good destination for Joel Campbell?
image: © wonker