The stats that prove Joel Campbell deserves a chance at Arsenal

Arsenal’s Joel Campbell has statistically outshone first-choice striker Olivier Giroud at the World Cup.

The 22-year-old has been loaned out by Gunners manager Arsene Wenger for the past two campaigns due to issues with his work permit – but could finally be set for a chance in the first team this coming season.

And if the stats are anything to go by, then Campbell deserves every success that comes his way.

  TeamGoalsAssistsShotsDibbles WonAccurate CrossesAerial Duels WonSuccessful Final-Third PassesAppsMins
Joel Campbell Costa Rica 1 1 5 7 1 10 26 4 349
Olivier Giroud France 1 1 7 0 0 7 16 4 160

As Opta data shows, the Costa Rica striker has outperformed fellow Arsenal man Giroud in several key areas so far in Brazil.

After impressive wins against Uruguay and Italy – and a dramatic last-16 victory over Greece – Campbell finds himself in the quarter-finals, a stage Giroud’s France side have also reached. But in his four appearances so far, Campbell’s stats look a lot sharper.

A key fact to take note of is that the Costa Rican has played a lot more minutes than 27-year-old Giroud, although that is no explanation for why Campbell has been both more clinical and better at taking on his man.

Indeed, Campbell has scored once in five shots, compared to Giroud’s one goal in seven, while he was won seven dribbles – as opposed to Giroud’s none.

The fact that the Costa Rican, who played his club football at Olympiakos last season, has won more aerial duels and made more final-third passes, however, can be attributed to having spent more time on the pitch than the Frenchman.

Overall, though, the stats give us an important message: the 22-year-old is producing a consistently high level of football – and that’s without mentioning his coolly taken penalty in the shootout against Greece, when he was beyond exhausted.

It would be pointless to take these figures and conclude that Campbell is by any means a better striker than Giroud. But what they do tell us is that the Costa Rican can easily compete for a place with him.

Indeed, Campbell’s inclusion in the Arsenal squad would even make for a better Giroud. The Frenchman showed flashes of brilliance last season but looked jaded all too often, with Yaya Sanogo and Nicklas Bendtner unable to push him far enough for a place in Wenger’s side

And Costa Rica’s Campbell could even prove a money-saver for Wenger and the Gunners board. With an in-form Campbell and Giroud alongside each other, would there be much need to spend big on another striker? Arguably not.

If that isn’t proof enough that he’s ready for a place in the Arsenal squad, then maybe the Earth is flat after all.

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