Joel Campbell, once told by a few Arsenal fans to ‘get out while you still can’ to save his career, is on the verge of signing for Club de Fútbol Monterrey in Mexico.
Two summers ago, Joel Campbell left Europe to sign for Leon in Mexico on loan before his move was made permanent at the start of 2020. Leon paid £1.8m for him.
18 months later, it seems like the former Arsenal forward, who never really got a fair shake at the club, is on the move again. ESPN report that Campbell will become a Rayados player in the next few days, on what appears to be a loan according to Mexican media.
Campbell made 83 appearances for Leon over the past two seasons, more than he’s made for any other side. He scored seven and assisted five and currently has two years left on his deal.
Joel Campbell left Arsenal in 2018, so how has he done since leaving the club he was once famously told to ‘get out’ of ‘while you still can’?
Joel Campbell never really got a chance at Arsenal under Arsene Wenger and, when he was given one, seemed to do enough to warrant a longer run in the side.
For whatever reason, Wenger, despite signing Campbell, disagreed.
A series of loans saw the Costa Rican exhibit more patience than many other players would have managed but, when Wenger finally left, Campbell was shown the door as well.
A £1.35m move to Frosinone in Italy saw him make only 17 appearances for the Serie B side before he was sent on yet another loan in the January window. This time, Campbell found himself in Mexico with Club Leon FC, where he seemed to have finally found a home.
Signing permanently for Club Leon last January in a deal worth £1.8m, Campbell signed a three-year contract and has made 83 appearances – his most for any of the 10 teams he has represented. Campbell scored seven and assisted five, so he was not exactly banging them in in ways that would make Arsenal fans have many regrets. Nor are those stats likely to make the person who shouted “get out while you still can, Joel,” on that train platform feel like they nailed the situation, although that would probably require the ability for self-reflection which I doubt they have.
Campbell is still leading the line for his country after making his debut a decade ago aged just 18. He currently has 99 caps for Costa Rica, with 19 goals and 17 assists.
In all, Campbell played 40 times for Arsenal, scoring four and assisting six in stats that are deceptive. He only ever started 11 league games for Arsenal and who knows what might have happened had he been trusted more in the side.