With some uncertainty until now over Arsene Wenger’s plans for Joel Campbell, the Arsenal manager appears to have confirmed the Costa Rican will be part of the squad for the upcoming season.
Campbell caught the eye with some impressive touches, an assist and a fine volleyed goal as the Gunners spanked Benfica 5-1 today, and afterwards the manager was asked if there had been any offers for the forward and if he’d be willing to let him go.
“No. There is no reason to let him go. I want to keep him.”
He expanded on the reasons why, saying, “Campbell has done very well. I like the way he plays, he’s good on the ball, creative and collectively as well he has a good balance between individual skill and collective attitude – that’s not easy to find.”
The manager also had words of praise for four goal striker Yaya Sanogo.
“Sanogo came last year on a free and we worked very hard for six months with him and from January onwards he was slowly getting better.
“Now that we have worked very hard with him, we want him to stay here. If you look at his goal scoring record before he got injured, it is quite frightening.
“For a while when he came back last season, he could not score. You could see when he scored the first goal today, suddenly they came raining. I especially liked the third goal he scored, it was really the goal of a striker of quality. He has a big future here, or course, he is 21.
“He has something of Adebayor. He is strong, a strong body, similar strengths, but as well technical skill.”
With Lukas Podolski, Olivier Giroud and Theo Walcott yet to make a pre-season appearance, it does look as if the team has as much depth up front as it has in a long time, so hopefully Wenger’s obvious faith in the two young youngsters will be rewarded.
If there is a downside it appears Sanogo tweaked a hamstring this afternoon, but as yet we have no word on how bad it might be.