The star of Costa Rica’s incredible World Cup run, Joel Campbell, has certain won over the plaudits with his performances in Brazil and Arsenal fans have started backing the young striker to have a big impact on first-team matters as the Emirates next season.
As a quick and explosive attacker, the Arsenal starlet has shown he is capable of making an impact against some of the world’s best defenders in Brazil, and it’s not only his form in the World Cup that gives Arsenal fans hope for him to make an impact next season.
When on-loan to Olympiakos last season, the 21-year-old made big waves in his progression towards eventually becoming an Arsenal first-team player as he was considered one of the best players in the Greek Super League thanks to a strong start.
Campbell, who turns 22 today, scored 11 times and claimed 12 assists during his loan spell in Greece and was said to be determined to carry that form into the World Cup – which he has – and then on to Arsenal next season.
His form in Brazil isn’t good for everyone associated with Arsenal howeveras Benik Afobe will undoubtedly be sweating over his future at the club after an unspiring Championship loan spell last season.
Afobe, who turns 22 in February, is a similar age to Campbell and up until his injury in 2013 was very highly-rated by the Arsenal coaching staff as a striker with a big part to play in Arsenal’s future. However, his disappointing loan spell at Sheffield Wednesday had already put that into doubt before the emergence of Campbell, so what next?
The 21-year-old is likely to leave Emirates via the exit this summer; although, whether that is on-loan or on a permanent deal remains to be seen.
He has a good pedigree, which can be seen by his 23 youth international goals for England at various levels, but he is unlikely to attract the interest of a Premier League club due to his recent record in the Championship.
The Kent-born striker looks as if he may have to turn to another Championship side next season, perhaps on-loan, in the hope he can rebuild his early reputation and eventually go on to the potential he was said to have at a young age. After all last season was his bounce-back year from injury, so it would be perhaps too harsh to judge him on his Wednesday spell.
At the moment, unfortunately for Afobe, Campbell is leaps and bounds ahead of him in his progression and will look to be higher up the pecking order at the Emirates.
Afobe faces a huge 12 months in which to rebuild his reputation, and hopefully enjoy the same success Campbell did on loan. That is if the Gunners don't move now to move him on altogether.