Arsene Wenger has once against praised Joel Campbell after his recent success in the first team.

If reports are to be believed, the forward was incredibly close to leaving last summer and the fact that the boss didn’t let him go, without possibly knowing that we would suffer injury blows to both the Ox and Theo, was a stroke of genius.

The boss actually admitted that he’s surprised at the level of quality the 23-year-old has shown.

“You want to be surprised by the quality of your players and where he surprises you is in the intensity of his teamwork,” Wenger said.

“I flat-refused to let him go [in the summer] because I saw something in him that gives you belief, because of his attitude.

“I always thought the attitude was there. But after Olympiacos, in a game where we were like that, knife on the throat, he turned up with something special – great teamwork and a pass for Giroud on a second goal that was massive for us.

“Then I thought, ‘He can play under pressure as well, that is important for us’.”

504156338 arsenals costa rican striker joel campbell gettyimages
Arsenal’s Costa Rican striker Joel Campbell celebrates scoring their first goal during the English FA Cup third-round football match between Arsenal and Sunderland at the Emirates Stadium in London on January 9, 2016. AFP PHOTO / GLYK KIRK RESTRICTED TO EDITORIAL USE. No use with unauthorized audio, video, data, fixture lists, club/league logos or ‘live’ services. Online in-match use limited to 75 images, no video emulation. No use in betting, games or single club/league/player publications. / AFP / GLYN KIRK (Photo credit should read GLYN KIRK/AFP/Getty Images)

Campbell has been a breath of fresh air since he stepped up to fill in for the injured Ox. He’s not only ‘done a job’ while the England international was sidelined, he’s replaced him in the starting XI. He’s scoring, assisting, and creating, and he’s been a huge asset to the team.

Wenger not letting him go is really paying off.

It’s now vital that we keep hold of the Costa Rican. His work rate is admirable and it’s clear he’s loving his football right now, let’s not waste it.