Having been called up by Costa Rica, Joel Campbell has been working with a personal trainer for the last month in order to maintain his fitness with international fixtures coming up.
Having not featured since the first week in May, Sporting manager Jorge Jesus made it clear that the inconsistent winger wouldn’t be featuring for his side as the season drew to a close.
Campbell has taken the step of working individually to improve his fitness World Cup qualifiers against Panama as well as Trinidad and Tobago next month.
During a tournament to encourage sport participation, created by the 24-year-old himself, he said: “I feel super good, one month before I came to the national team I was working with a personal trainer every day to be physically fit and very intense.
“Not being in the last games was [a] technical decision, we talked and I accepted it well.”
Injuries combined with a lack of form and a falling out with the management meant that the forward didn’t get many chances to assert his credentials as a regular starter for Sporting. As usual with Joel, however, he is able to see positives.
“The truth is that it has been a very good stage, I am 24-years-old, I have been through several leagues and I have gained experiences that have made me a better player and person, so I am very happy,” he stated.
It’s looking increasingly unlikely, given his lack of progress in Portugal, that he’ll feature in Arsene Wenger’s first-team plans next season, but the attacker remains hopeful about his chances.
“Right now, I’m 100% focused on the national team and when I get back to Arsenal we’re going to see how things go.
“The previous year I showed that I can be there, I played 30 matches but football always brings good circumstances, is part of this.”
Campbell will be hoping to add to his 14 goals and 10 assists across 71 international caps this summer, as he could potentially be playing for a permanent move.