Arsenal’s forgotten man Joel Campbell has returned to full training after recovering from an injury at Real Betis. The Costa Rican suffered a sprained ankle on the 31st of the October and has been on the sidelines ever since.
In his time on the sidelines, the 25-year-old has missed 14 competitive games for Real Betis. The injury has been so costly that Beticos considered sending him back to North London. But his importance to the team convinced them to treat him themselves.
Joel Campbell released a statement on his official website to update the world on his situation.
“I’m happy to be back with the others, I feel good, I want to return to the pitch. Step by step as I have always said, the time will come. For now, I continue working to be able to contribute to the team and our goals.”
Real Betis themselves have confirmed the news on social media and they’re clearly ecstatic about the situation.The Spanish outlet Marca state that the 25-year-old is quite back into full training, but he did participate in the squad’s session on Thursday.
In the summer, Campbell underwent a serious knee operation in which kept him out of action until October. In his comeback match, he scored 1 and assisted another in just under 13 minutes on the pitch. In spite of this, the Costa Rican would injure himself in the same month of his return. The 26-year-old has only made 3 appearances for Real Betis this season, equating to 89 minutes in total on the pitch.
Since signing for Arsenal back in 2011, Joel Campbell has been on loan at Lorient, Real Betis (twice), Olympiacos, Villarreal and Sporting Lisbon. That’s six loan spells in seven years, showing Arsène Wenger still has some faith in him. Granted he’s had a lot problems concerning his visa, but for Arsenal not to sell him permanently means there’s still hope for him at the Emirates.
The truth is, although Arsenal has shown their faith in him by offering him several contracts, his time at Arsenal may be coming to an end. As the Gunners get stronger by the window with new attacking signings, Arsène Wenger is slowly clearing out all the deadwood club, meaning Joel Campbell could be next one out. The Costa Rican is talented but it’s a big ask for him to become a main player at the Emirates when Mesut Özil, Pierre Emerick-Aubameyang, Alexandre Lacazette & Henrikh Mkhitaryan are all ahead of him in the pecking order.
The Costa Rican’s perk in fitness will be encouraging for the Gunners. If Joel Campbell can regain fitness & form, he would command a much higher fee in the summer when Arsenal decide to eventually sell him.