Arsenal-owned star reacts to making his La Liga debut

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Arsenal star Joel Campbell started Villarreal’s 2-0 home win over Granada.

Arsenal-owned Joel Campbell made his La Liga and Villarreal home debut on Saturday as his new team defeated Granada 2-0 at the El Madrigal stadium.

The Costa Rican international joined the Yellow Submarine in the January transfer window on a six-month loan deal after struggling to break in to the Gunners’ first-team.

In North London, Campbell had to compete with a number of attacking players for a regular spot, and the return of Theo Walcott from injury pushed him further down Arsene Wenger’s pecking order.

The 22-year-old, however, has joined a club where opportunities are easier to come by, and he has already tasted some first-team action as he started in last week’s Copa Del Rey victory over Getafe.

On Saturday, Campbell’s new team faced off against Granada and boss Marcelino Garcia Toral opted to start the striker out on the right-wing in a conventional 4-4-2 formation.

“I found myself much better in this match, I participated much more and for that I had a great time out there,” he told Spanish publication Marca.

“It has been a great experience to make my La Liga debut with Villarreal and do it with a victory. I’m in an adaption phase, gaining my rhythm little by little and I’m getting better with each passing day.

“The team is in a fight for the top spots and this victory will help. For that we are all happy, we have the opportunity to do something important here and that’s great motivation.”

Campbell was in good form as he took one shot, created one chance via a key pass and maintained a 79.2% pass completion rate – his side’s fourth highest of the afternoon according to Whoscored.com.

He still isn’t 100% match fit, however, and he was replaced just after the hour mark by Denis Cheryshev with his side leading and taking a firm grip on the match.

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