Arsenal youngster Joel Campbell is set to join Greek side Olympiakos on loan for the 2013/14 season despite finally getting his work permit to play in England. The striker secured the permit a little over two weeks ago, however it now seems that he will be once again away from England.
It’s a strange decision as I thought Arsene Wenger would have loved to offer Campbell the chance of English football with clubs in the championship surely willing to take the Costa Rican striker, whilst newly promoted side Crystal Palace held interest from the Premier League.
I understand that Olympiakos can offer Champions League football, which will be great for the youngster to get a taste of Europe’s greatest club competition, but realistically the Greek side probably won’t get out of the group stages and therefore he probably won’t play more than 6 games at the highest level and there’s not even a guarantee he will play in those games. The rest of his time will be spent in a very average and aggressive Greek league, which apart from playing time and experience, will give him no other benefits and so if this move is true, like the speculation currently states, then I think, player, agent and manager Arsene Wenger have made the wrong choice because I firmly believed Campbell could achieve more.
At 21 years old next season is pivotal for the youngster because people continue to question whether he actually has the ability to succeed with Arsenal. Players at this age, usually have to show whether they have the ability to make it or not and although the odd player such as Francis Coquelin may get through the majority tend to rot in the sidelines and ruin their career much like Sanchez Watt and Craig Eastmond.
Whilst waiting 2 years to secure a work permit for England, Campbell spent his time on loan in Europe with both French Ligue 1 side Lorient and Spanish side Real Betis, where he accumulated a total of 5 goals. No exactly the most impressive, but if you ask me, I’m still a firm believer in Campbell’s talent. However he will have to work extremely hard if he wants to make it in North London