Video: Arsenal loanee Joel Campbell nets first goal in 11 months in Villarreal win

Arsenal’s Joel Campbell netted his first goal for Villarreal on Sunday.

Arsenal star Joel Campbell netted his first professional goal in 11 months on Sunday as he helped loan club Villarreal to a 1-0 win over Elche.

The Costa Rica international has endured a tough campaign despite only experiencing the best moments of his career last summer at the World Cup in Brazil.

The 22-year-old played a key role in his nation’s run to the quarter-final, prompting plenty of fans in North London to call for his return and a place in the Gunners’ first-team squad.

Boss Arsene Wenger replied to the pleas by including him in his squad for the Premier League season, but heavy competition for places resulted in Campbell being restricted to just minutes off the bench.

As a result, the former Saprissa man was loaned out in the January transfer window – the fourth time in as many seasons – and joined La Liga outfit Villarreal.

The Yellow Submarines represented a good opportunity for the striker to play regularly at a top club competing at the right end of Spanish table as well as in the Europa League.

However, he has often been played on the right side of a conventional 4-4-2 formation reducing the opportunities for him to make an impact in front of goal.

After 11 months and 18 appearances in all competitions on loan at the Madrigal Stadium, Campbell finally broke his scoring drought as he reacted quickest to nod home from close range.

The goal was unspectacular, but Campbell won’t care as it’s a monkey off his back and helped secure Villarreal a Europa League spot with their first win in 10 Spanish top-flight matches. 

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