It’s increasingly likely that Joel Campbell will complete a permanent move away from Arsenal this summer, with a number of interested suitors looking at the Costa Rican as a credible attacking option.
Campbell turns 25 in just over a week’s time and needs to be playing regular first-team football. Arsene Wenger isn’t going to offer him that next season, so it makes sense for both parties that efforts are made to ensure he joins another club in the coming months.
Sporting had an option to buy the forward in his loan deal with the Portguese side last season. A string of inconsistent displays convinced them that he wasn’t worth it, but a handful of sides elsewhere are interested.
In Turkey, three of the top clubs have been linked with moves for him. Fenerbahce representatives were reportedly set to meet Campbell in London, while Galatasaray eye him as a long-term replacement for Bruma – who joined Bundesliga side RB Leizpig earlier this month.
Besiktas, who won the Super Lig title last season, are seen as frontrunners for his signature though. They can offer him UEFA Champions League football next term and club president Fikret Orman is reportedly planning on a move to London, in attempts to negotiate a move with Arsenal for the forgotten winger.
The other interested club that have been named at present is newly-promoted side Brighton, who have shortlisted him as one of their transfer targets as they’re keen to bolster their attack ahead of the new Premier League campaign in August.
His agent has also confirmed that Olympiakos are still trying to get their hands on him, something they’ve wanted since his loan spell there in 13/14.
It’s clear that Arsenal sent Campbell out on-loan last season in an attempt to drive up his price. It would’ve been counter-productive to have him sit unsettled on the substitutes’ bench, or worse still, not involved altogether regularly. They already had Lucas for that.
Arsenal will be hoping that he impresses on international duty with Costa Rica as good performances at next month’s Gold Cup could justify interest from the aforementioned suitors and prompt higher bids for his services.
Honduras, Canada and French Guiana make up the rest of Group A and with respect to those countries, Campbell could easily play a pivotal role in helping his side progress to the knockout rounds of the competition.
If he and Costa Rica are successful next month, he could earn a move elsewhere with the first-team assurances he’d actively seek.
The ball is firmly at his feet now though but it’s clear to everyone that this journey needs to end now.