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The FA Cup Fourth Round

Wenger: Campbell will return

Arsenal boss Arsene Wenger says Joel Campbell will return to his pre-season plans once his World Cup campaign is over.

Last Updated: 16/06/14 at 09:51 Post Comment

Joel Campbell: Loan and international experience has served him well

Joel Campbell: Loan and international experience has served him well

The Costa Rica international was snapped up by Arsenal from Saprissa in 2011, but is yet to make his first team debut.

Work permit issues provided an early stumbling block, forcing Campbell out on loan.

Spells at Lorient in France and Real Betis in Spain were taken in before the relevant paperwork was processed in the summer of 2013.

Arsenal were still keen for him to get further experience under his belt, though, and allowed the 21-year-old to spend the 2013/14 campaign in Greece with Olympiakos.

He caught the eye in domestic and UEFA Champions League competition and was brimming with confidence in Costa Rica’s World Cup opener against Uruguay on Saturday.

A man of the match display saw him find the target in a shock 3-1 win, and Arsenal are now ready to welcome a ‘maturing’ performer back into the fold at Emirates Stadium.

Wenger told the Daily Mail:  “He will definitely come back to us for pre-season.

“He is maturing well.”

Campbell is considered to be ready for a shot at life in the Premier League, with a man who knows that scene well backing the youngster to be a success.

Former Derby County, West Ham United and Manchester City striker Paulo Wanchope is now assistant coach of the Costa Rica national side and has seen enough of Campbell to suggest that he has the potential to be a useful asset for Arsenal.

He said in the Daily Telegraph: “He really wants to go back to Arsenal and play and I told him that the only way to do that is on the pitch.

“He did well today (against Uruguay) and I think that he needs to perform even better against Italy and then England to have that chance to go back to Arsenal.”

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