Arsenal loan star Joel Campbell is finally set to be handed a centre-forward role as Villarreal travel to Anoeta to take on David Moyes’ Real Sociedad, Spanish paper AS report.
The Costa Rica international turned plenty of heads last summer as he shone during his nation’s run to the quarter-finals of the 2014 World Cup in Brazil.
His performances, especially against Italy and Uruguay, prompted a number of supporters in North London to take to social media sites and demand boss Arsene Wenger include him in the first-team squad.
After three years of spending time out on loan, Campbell and those supporters got their wish as the Gunners refused to loan him out again and give him his chance.
However, owing to such strong competition at the Emirates, the 22-year-old was never afforded a chance to break in to the starting XI and he was subsequently shipped out to Villarreal on loan in January.
It was a good move for the former Saprissa man as the Yellow Submarines contested in the latter stages of the Europa League and Copa Del Rey, plus the top end of La Liga.
Yet, Campbell has mainly been played out of wide in an orthodox 4-4-2 formation, causing him to suffer the embarrassment of failing to score a single competitive goal now for well over 10 months.
The Gunners’ loan star needs an opportunity up front, and as per a report in AS, according to an apparent injury crisis, boss Marcelino is finally willing to start him as the team’s number 9.
It will be Campbell’s first game as the leading central striker since last summer, and it will undoubtedly be his most important fixture of his season and one which could shape his future.