Wenger masterstroke? Impressive Arsenal youngster was close to Italy or Spain move

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Arsenal starlet Joel Campbell announced himself to the world in Costa Rica's famous win over Uruguay, and Arsene Wenger will be pleased to have fought for his signature three years ago.

Campbell caught the headlines back in February with a brilliant goal in Olympiakos’ 2-0 Champions League victory over Manchester United.

Gooners collectively rejoiced at the 21-year-old’s impressive display against their Premier League rivals, pondering whether he would be given a chance at the Emirates next season after three successive loan spells.

And in his World Cup debut against Uruguay, Campbell could’ve hardly done a better job proving he’s ready for North London with a goal and an assist in an electrifying display.

  TeamPosGoalsAssistsDribblesFouls WonTouchesAppsMins
Joel Campbell Costa Rica FW 1 1 4 7 55 1 90

Wenger confirmed on Sunday that Campbell will at the very least return to Arsenal for pre-season training, with of course the rest of Costa Rica’s World Cup run to demonstrate his talent.

But as the San Jose native continues to press for an opportunity at the club that bought him back in 2011, a look back in time suggests there was a chance he could’ve ended up elsewhere.

According to Calciomercato, it was Fiorentina and Sevilla - with Juventus lurking in the background - that were in pole position for his signature three years back.

Wenger was so impressed with Campbell’s efforts at the CONCACAF U-20 Championship and U-20 World Cup, however, that he swooped in to scoop up the talented teenager for himself.

And the move may yet prove a masterstroke. Campbell is yet to kick a ball in an Arsenal shirt, but has shown himself to be a player unintimidated by the big occasion of late despite his age.

Arsenal are in need of another pacy attacker to complement Theo Walcott and offer another dimension to their build up play, a mould that the Costa Rica man fits.

The Gunners manager seems yet undecided on whether Campbell will be kept at the Emirates next campaign, but seems open to giving him the chance to win a place in the squad.

And if Campbell can carry over the type of form that saw him star against United and Uruguay to North London, Wenger and company can be more than pleased with their efforts to beat Fiorentina, Sevilla and Juventus to the Costa Rican’s services three years ago.

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