Arsene Wenger spoke about Joel Campbell’s loan move to Sporting during his pre-Watford presser on Friday and described the Costa Rican as a ‘victim of squad size’.
To regular human beings, I think that essentially means he wasn’t going to get played because we have too many men in his position.
The boss didn’t rule out the 24-year-old returning to north London but didn’t seem convinced, which doesn’t sound too promising.
“I believe that he’s a bit of a victim of the size of the squad,” Wenger said to the media.
“He is now at an age where he needs to play more regularly and I don’t rule out that he comes back here and plays. He has gone to Sporting Lisbon and I think it’s an interesting championship. Portugal always has an interesting championship and let’s see how it goes for him.”
For whatever reason, Wenger doesn’t appear to see Joel fitting into our current squad. I say ‘current’, he’s been going out on loan consistently since we signed him in 2011. Granted, there were issues with his work permit at first but these were all reportedly sorted by July 2013. This means the forward was loaned out to Olympiacos and Villarreal after he was eligible to play for us.
Does Wenger simply not like his playing style? Possible, although it makes you wonder why he was signed in the first place.
Perhaps the boss is right and he is a ‘victim’ of squad size. Although I personally feel as if there’s more to this than meets the eye. Of course, I could be wrong.