Arsene Wenger says Arsenal forward Joel Campbell has surprised many this season and his outstanding moment against Olympiakos shows he has something special in him, the Mirror acclaims.
The Costa Rica international has featured in the first-team on a number of occasions of the past few weeks, deputising for the likes of Alexis Sanchez and Theo Walcott who suffered injuries.
And his contributions have been superb, no more so than the mesmerising assist he gave for striker Olivier Giroud to double Arsenal’s lead in their crunch Champions League tie with Olympiakos.
Wenger says Campbell has surprised many, and that he has seen special quality in him.
“He shows slowly – game by game – that he has the talent to do it. Just look at his goals and the assists he has given – it is much better than people think,” Wenger told reporters.
“The ball he gave for the second goal against Olympiakos shows there’s something special in him. He puts his body on the line and is not only a guy who shows talent, but who puts in a shift for the team.”
Campbell joined Arsenal from Costa Rican side Saprissa in 2011, yet over the ensuing three seasons he spent a considerable time out on loan at Lorient, Olympiakos, Real Betis and Villarreal.
The 23-year-old was very much in a last chance position to prove himself with the Gunners this season and he has seized the opportunity superbly
Campbell has made five Premier League appearances and three starts in the Champions League, scoring two goals and providing a further two assists.
With a full strength squad, it’s doubtful that the forward would become a regular in the first-team XI but his contributions of late certainly indicate he has what it takes to be called upon when necessary.