Monday, February 26, 2024

Campbell: I asked to leave Arsenal on loan

Joel Campbell says that although Arsene Wenger wanted him to stay at the club, he asked to leave because he felt he wasn’t going to play as much as he would like.

This is the Costa Rican’s 5th loan club since signing for Arsenal in 2011, after spells at Lorient, Real Betis, Olympiacos and Villarreal. The 24 year old had a good season last time out, but never seemed to fully convince his manager, and he seems aware of that by requesting to leave on loan.

“I made that decision because I’m at an important stage in my football life, an ideal age to grow,” he told

“When I realized I was not going to play as much as I wanted I thought it would be better to go on loan. In reality going on loan has always been on my request.

“I have ambition, I want to play, and I love football. Truth is I don’t feel comfortable not playing every Sunday. I don’t want to settle for less.

“Another person could stay at Arsenal, have a good wage, live in a nice city and not playing, but I prefer to leave comfort aside and fight for my dreams. I want to prove I have what is needed to play the game.”

And he revealed that Wenger wanted to keep him but his desire to play more often trumped that, leaving the Frenchman to acquiesce.

“The coach told me he would have liked me to stay,” he said, “but playing is my priority and if I’m not 100% on his plans then I prefer to go on loan and play football.

“I’ll do my best effort to achieve good stats and grow during this season at Sporting.”

Again, good luck to him out there.

Translation hat-tip to ymic on /r/gunners

Related articles


Notify of

newest most voted
Inline Feedbacks
View all comments

Good for you Joel. I’d bounce too if had his type of contributions and was still behind theo and ox.


Get out while you can Joel!!!

Jokes aside good move for all parties. Hopefully he’ll have a stellar season and finally convince Wenger that he’s worth a place in the first eleven.

If Wenger is still unconvinced than hopefully we’ll make a tidy profit come the next transfer window.

Personally I hope he stays.


Go Campbell go! Don’t believe AW, You won’t be able to compete with theo and ox for some misterious reasons AW only knows!


And with one glorious statement, Joel Campbell cemented himself as an Arsenal hero.


exactly, never complain that he’s getting lesser chances but instead saying he wanna play
good choices of words to choose


Fair play to the lad. Hope he has a cracking season.


Didn’t spuds get Lisbon in draw?! Go Joel!!

David Hillier's luggage

Nope, Sporting got Real & Dortmund


Oh : (


Fair play to him. And I retract all the things I implied about Arsène’s lack of judgement. He’s having a blinder of a PR day today!


Retract how? Whatever you said about Wenger initially had no basis in reality.
What if at work you heard rumours about a coworker and decided to slander him/her in an office memo.m could u just “retract” what you wrote and everyone forgets about it?
Wake the fuck up.


I respect that. I’d much prefer that he stay with us though. Good luck to him.


There’s a lot to admire about Joel Campbell


Chuffed to bits about the two signings that (touch wood) seem imminent, but really gutted campbell’s gone. After being massively sceptical of him he won me over pretty conclusively. Hope to one day hear Arsene’s rationale behind keeping Walcott instead.


That’s quite a simple one, everyone knows he’s useless and he’s on 140 grand a week!


Don’t you think an ‘ambitious’ club like West Ham or Everton would have a crack at him if he was available at around £20m? Would be nice to get rid of his 140k/w.

Ducks sake

The guy who is now ploughing money into Everton is Usmanov ex partner. He’s not daft.


An ambitious club would not be interested in walcott




No because those clubs can’t afford to pay £140k a week


The reason Theo and the Ox are ahead of Campbell is their skills and athleticism. On the field Campbell has done as well or better, but a lot of the reason for Ox and Theo not doing more is injury. When fit, they can be dazzling. That’s not a word you’d use with Joel. You have to respect Joel’s industry, work ethic, and work rate, but he’s not a flair player. You could argue that Arsenal have too many flair guys and not enough grit and steel men, but Arsenal prefer to play on the front foot and look for… Read more »


Sorry mate but I don’t think Theo has any “skills”. Unless by skills you mean run fast and score goals only when he doesn’t have time to think about it. Joel had much more in his locker than you’d think e.g. that through ball he played against Olympiakos to get us back in the tie…delicious.

Joel should feel hard done by as he should be ahead of Theo and Ox. Good luck to the lad; I hope you comes to us with more experience. However, I think this could be the end of his Arsenal path…shame.


And Theo is english…


Not once have we ever heard fighting talk like that from Walcott.

He constantly said he was a striker, got played there, had a shit one, got dropped… ‘oh, yeah, I am a winger now’.. no fight to prove his worth, just rolled over like a total pussy and gave up.

Gutted for Campbell


Well, what you know, there always story behind the story.


You really can’t fault Joel’s attitude or commitment. I hope he has a great season on loan and we see him back next year ready to compete for a place in the first team squad.


Et tu Joel?

Dan Hunter

Wenger didn’t leave him with much choice did he? The guy is more creative than ox and Walcott put together and can score goals too and run at players, yet he is still mysteriously overlooked.


Well he did get out while he could…so I guess the fans can moan on different player now and look for other stick to beat the gaffer disappointed with that


Good luck to him. It should’ve been Theo


Wenger is a straight picky meanie. He would never done that thing to his boy Walcott.


Good luck joel. Wishing you the best. Performed better than Theo and Ox last season. Think he’d have been a decent CF option. Ox and Iwobi have a higher ceiling and Theo even if he’s shit can bring 10 a season.


Good luck


I’ve always liked Campbell, sad to lose him this season, hope he comes back next season a better player….also hoping we secure the signings of Lucas Perez and Shkodran Mustafi….never heard of the former till last night but he seems good!


Best of luck Joel, hope you find more than you did at Arsenal being stuck behind players who you were outperforming/working


It should have been the Ox going on loan, but I hope he proves us all wrong and finally comes good this season. I wish Joel luck and hope he comes back a better player and competing for a place, if not under Arsene then whomever his successor may be.

Dan Hunter

Prefer to keep Ox and send Walcott off on a permanent vacation


Can’t wait for him to boss it in Portugal and come back next season with extra confidence


Good luck to Joel Campbell. He’s a good player. At a smaller club he’d be Troy Deeny or Jamie Vardy. At Arsenal he’s a squad player and he doesn’t want that. By going on loan he gets the best of both worlds. He gets an Arsenal wage and to play every Sunday.


“Another person could stay at Arsenal, have a good wage, live in a nice city and not playing.”

Sounds a bit pointed.

Cliff Bastin

He means Debuchy.


Love his attitude

Sadly too many modern day footballers are happy to sit on their arses rather than play. Wayne Bridge at chavski always annoyed. Never as good as Cole and would never take his place but he was happy to pick up huge wages rather than try challenge him for the spot at international level

An Ox-sized Coq

Maybe it was Wayne’s missus that convinced him to stay at Chelsea, for some unknown reason.


Give me one good reason to not like this guy. Great commitment. I hope his loan spell works well for him.


I always liked Joel and was really pleased when he did well last season. I thought because he always played well and gave 100% he’d get more chances than he did.
Reading this just makes me like him even more.


Je Suis Joel Campebell. Good luck to him, would have been a good player to have throughout the season however if this means more Gnabry in those appearances then that’s also a good step. I do miss the days when we had the Carling Cup and players like Vela, Merida, Wilshere sparkled. Good day all round and with the spine of the team strengthened you can’t complain. I am not sure a title winning team recently has not strengthened right through the middle of their team before they go on to win the league. Now hopefully we can sit back… Read more »


Get out whilst you still can Joel …… oh, hang on. Wait a minute…..

Gervinho is Driving

Class act.

Sideshow _bob

A guy with that attitude and we let him go Damn. Really hoped he’d stay but fair play to him. Even I would have left had I been in his position. Seriously will we ever sell Theo? ?

Van Doorn

Feels bad to lose him, could easily be ahead Ox and Theo in the rotation and that would mean a lot of games for him, including starting our first two games, as well as being a good backup ST as he is fo Costa Rica’s NT. Hopefully he impresses enough over there to have another chance, even though he already impressed imo, maybe he will need to have a Ronaldo-esque season to impress AW.

Ghanaian gooner

I still think he can be the answer to our striking problems if we have them by the time he’s back for next season. He is blessed with a great blend of technique and power and works his ass off. I honestly believe he will have a very productive season at Sporting as one of their main attacking threats.


Was just watching him on welcomed to sporting Lisbon, if we were signing him and I didn’t know him I be well excited wish he was giving more game time, best of luck Joel


Like others out there, I am sad to see Dick Law’s boy go. He won me over as well.
Hopefully he plays and starts alot for Sporting and doesn’t have a loan experience like Serge did.

It doesn't matter what we think, feel or say.

Was he ‘asked’ to say this?

Mississippi Gunner

Wenger invested a lot more money into Walcott than he did Campbell. Maybe that’s he can’t let go of Theo. Maybe he also would rather Ox, Iwobi, or Theo have a successful season because they’re English. Or maybe it’s bc Joel doesn’t have Theo’s acceleration. I’m gobsmacked at this clanger, mates


I know it won’t make a difference but this should really put to rest the vitriol and blame directed at Wenger. It was Campbell’s call all along! To be a part of a team you have to be a team player and waiting for your chance on the bench if that’s what it takes. All teams rotate or players get injured. Ramsey and Iwobi already out for god’s sake! It’s unfortunate he didn’t want to wait for his moment but I don’t fault him for wanting to play more. So good luck and I hope he comes back stronger.


He sounds hungry and has a lot of desire. Wouldn’t those qualities be more beneficial to us rather than Sporting?


I wanted him to stay but it’s good for him that he’s gone. I don’t mean as if he’s leaving a sinking ship, but he’s proven he’s better than Ox and Walcott (and Iwobi and Gnabry tbf although they are young) in terms of defensive input and offensive output and yet he still found himself below them. He did his talking on the pitch, not off it, and yet apparently it wasn’t good enough to get into the side. Go figure. Which CL game was it where he played that class through ball, a reverse pass and took out about… Read more »


Que bien Campbell esa es la actitud. Vete del Arsenal permanentemente porque los preferidos de Wenger siempre van a estar y desafortunadamente tu no.


Next season the new manager will take him.

Make mine a Swiss miss

I like Joel and wish him well. To be honest I thought that although he had good moments last season he wasn’t consistently at the level needed to nail that RW position down. A season at SL playing every week might do him the world of good and he’s still young enough to come back. Best thing for him and fair of us in the end to let him go there.


I don’t think it was ever about how much he did but about what he did relative to those in the same position.

He was clearly more productive. So, unless we are getting an entirely new person in, sounds weird to let go of the “best” option in that position.


Campbell’s frustration is quite understood seeing that he didn’t even make the reserve bench in the last two games did he.


As mentioned, writing was on the wall. When he left on loan, I said that we were likely rbinging in someone who also had potentially a function on the wings. Perez should he come in has played one season as CF with 17 goals but is chiefly a winger before that. Add Walcott (which we have to retain till Welbeck returns at least), Alexis, Ox, Iwobi, Gnabry and there isn’t much room for Campbell. But its not a zero sum game. Likely this is Campbell’s shop window to move on with his career but should he sparkle, we retain the… Read more »


Top top chap. Good luck to you always


Respect to Joel Campbell he won over the Arsenal fans with his hard work and had a bit of a swagger about him too. Walcott should take a leaf out of his book and get his head down and work. Fans generally appreciate graft, even if things aren’t working out. I would love to see Theo have a stellar season and win the fans back. Despite all the hate he gets, I think deep down we all just want him to succeed. He’s started ok this year and looks hungrier. Come on Arsenal.

Cyprus The Immortal Gooner

My take on keeping Walcott is that selling him because of not been successful AFTER the renewal of the 140k/week contract, that would indicate a bad decision by Wenger…They are still expecting a return on investement…

Mach iii

Good move: Walcott will disappoint, and Campbell will prove his point. Next season he comes back to take his place as king! Look at the attitude Zlatan Ibrahimovic has. Supreme confidence. He wants to get on the field and destroy the opposition. Compare that to the Wimpering dog of Walcott on the field. I’m not comparing skill, just the attitude the players have… Walcott thought he knew what it took to be a professional footballer from the get-go. ‘Oh this is what a professional footballer must do’. Whereas the attitude of Zlatan is, go out and dominate, fuck everything else.… Read more »

Injury Crisis FC

I’m sure you will achieve good stats in Fifa 17 Campbell. May you have a cracking season, then we can cancel your loan and keep Walcott on the bench 😉


One of my favourite gunners, good luck for the season Joel.


I don’t know what else Campbell has to do to convince Wenger of a place ahead of the ox n theo…i hope he hits the ground running at sporting and then return to play for arsenal under a new manager…#GOODLUCK JOEL…#WENGER OUT


I cannot understand AW decision making regarding players recruitment, loaning and others. Campbell was one of our best players last year. Why loan him out and keep Chamberlain and Walcott? Such decision baffles me. AW seems to stick with his preferences but such decisions have not done us good in 12 years. Honestly, I have given up. It appears like fans don’t matter anymore and base on that, I have decided to just watch my beloved arsenal without much expectations of success this season, just like few seasons ago. AW is only doing the bidding of the owner. I cannot… Read more »

I miss Bergkamp

I hope Campbell does well on loan and comes back stronger to replace Walcott. However, I am a bit confused as to the fan reactions to him saying he was leaving for playing time. He is being applauded for the exact same thing Debuchy was destroyed for: he has no desire to stay and fight for his place…


I appreciate the love for my fellow countryman. Hopefully he can return better and stronger next year and be in the main squad!!

Share article

Featured on NewsNow

Support Arseblog

Latest posts

Latest Arsecast

Would love your thoughts, please comment.x