Sending players on loan when they will struggle to get valuable minutes on the pitch, makes sense.
Instead of letting talent fester as they are stifled in their attempt to grow and flourish, the opportunity to gain valuable experience and more importantly, send a message to their Manager regarding their potential, is an excellent alternative.
Well, our Costa Rican attacker Joel Campbell looks to be heading to Sporting Lisbon for a spell – and his absence may resonate deeply during our campaign.
Last season, his breakthrough was overdue, and it looked as if his displays would have ensured progress at his parent club.
Campbell made 19 appearances, with three goals bagged last season, but it wasn’t his numbers that impressed Gooners. His work rate, and his tireless efforts to track back were so refreshing after repeated torturous games watching our flanks left gaping open as our attackers left their posts.
He isn’t merely a workhorse though. What has surprised many who saw him in action last season and during the latest bout of pre-season friendlies is his vision and close control. Campbell possesses a pass that can be thread through the smallest of gaps, and it tells of his awarenessas he picks up runners from all angles.
Surely his efforts would be rewarded? Would his performances snare him a squad spot for this coming season? It seemed to all and sundry that it would.
He has certainly put in the work. Four loan spells since his purchase from Costa Rican club Deportivo Saprissa in 2011 – Lorient, Real Betis, Olympiacos and Villareal have all benefitted from his presence – have given him not only made him grow up, but playing amidst different styles means he can adapt his play.
Campbell is not a one-trick pony. Seeing him play on each flank and behind the striker showcase this element of him far better than any words can. So, with all these strengths, and his excellent displays on the pitch, why has he not been given a chance?
Many can see that our manager Arsene Wenger has never been fully convinced by the Costa Rican. Despite Oxlade-Chamberlain being far less efficient with possession, and that Campbell has been far more astute than the young England man, more often than not, The Ox has been given the nod.
Then there is the fact that Wenger loves to fit Aaron Ramsey into his plans. The Welshman is pretty much considered an attacker, but where he is considered most dangerous – Number 10 – is usually filled by the mercurial Mesut Ozil. Throw into the pot that when Ramsey plays on the right he links up brilliantly with Olivier Giroud – and you have a recipe that means Campbell is left in the wilderness.
Campbell could potentially be the answer to our lack of depth in striking options though. He played as a lone striker for his country in World Cup2014, and it saw them reach the knockout stage.
Playing as a single striker requires strength to hold the ball up, mental strength and spacial awareness. Campbell has these in spades, but even though he has these facets to his play, and he is adaptable, and is dedicated – he still looks in on the Arsenal team from the outside.
There will be a time when Campbell will be needed, just as we did last season – but Campbell wil not be there to rescue us this time. He will be busy plying his trade in Lisbon, and when the injuries mount up and we are crying out for a player to shore up our porous team – Campbell won’t be there.
Wenger may just be clearing room in the squad for another purchase, or he might just be making a huge mistake.