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June 2021

Bienvenida Senor Campbell.

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

Editorial whatnot:  Just so you know that we know, there’s contradictory messages here there and everywhere about this player coming to Arsenal.  Or not.  Or perhaps.

By Walter Broeckx

Live can be funny sometimes. Last week I sat staring at my TV and as there was nothing interesting on any channel I took a look on our sports channel. And then I stumbled on the game Bolivia – Costa Rica. I said to my Arsenal supporting son (okay they all support Arsenal so not really a need to mention it, save some pride in the fact that they all do) let us do some scouting work.

And so we began at first joking about the players.   Everytime there was a good pass made we shouted:  “Wenger buy him”. And when a pass was misplaced we shouted: “No, don’t buy this one.” And so we sat there not really fully interested in the game (with all respect for the both countries, but they are not the countries you would stay up until 3am in the night).

And we joked further on : note his number down and follow that guy. Don’t buy him. Sign that one. But the more the game went on I got impressed by one player in the Costa Rica team. He seemed to be all over the place. Full of pace and energy. When he was involved in the game the attacks look dangerous.  So after some 20 minutes in the second half I said to my son: now that player really is dangerous and is the best man on the pitch. So I tried to take notice of his name and to my surprise it even sounded an English name: Campbell.

I watch further on and I must say I got more and more impressed by this player. At the end of the game, and after that he had scored the second goal for Costa Rica, I said to my son:  “This is a player we should take a look at.” We being Arsenal of course.

In a way it was a bit of a big event for Costa Rica because they rarely win a game in the Copa America.  They are a rather small Central America country with not that many highlights in their history. In fact one of the highlights in their football history was a 1-0 win against Scotland in 1990 on the world cup in Italy. Just to show that they are not really a big country known for their football.  It was one of their best outings on the world cup in fact.

Anyway after the game I thought, “this looks a promising player” and I wondered in which country he played as I imagined that he would be out there somewhere playing in the reserves of some Spanish or Italian team.  But as I am not a scout for Arsenal I didn’t bother to start an investigation.

And then I saw on the young guns blog that we have been starting negotiations for this 19 year old Costa Rican player with the name Joel Campbell. And I realised it was the same Campbell I had been saying that we should take a closer look. And now the reports have come out that of the Costa Rican media that a deal has been made between Arsenal and his club – although at the same time there are other reports saying no, the deal has been hi-jacked and he’s going somewhere else.

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So one week unknown to me (not really a big surprise), then I picked him up by accident on my TV and now only one week later it seems he has become an Arsenal player. Life can be funny at times. Well will be interesting to see if announces him one of these days.

And about the work permit situation I think it will not really be a big problem. His grandfather was Irish and this explains the English sounding name, and he is a full international for Costa Rica and has played in the last  international games for Costa Rica and has scored  goals in those games. And he has made an impression on me when I first saw him. And I’m not that easily impressed when I see a player for the first time. It only happened to me when I saw Cesc for the first time. Or when I saw Wilshere playing for the reserves.

So if the reports in the media (and for once I think I can believe the media from Costa Rica – more than English media in any case) are correct I can only say: Bienvenida to our new Gunner Joel Campbell!


Joel Nathaniel Campbell Samuels (born June 26, 1992) commonly known as Joel Campbell

  • Started professional career with  C.D. Saprissa in 2010.
  • Loaned to Puntarenas FC in 2011.
  • Reported to be watched by Juventus, AC Milan and Barcelona.
  • On July 15, 2011, Arsenal are reported to have gone to C.D. Saprissa to make an offer.
  • On July 17, 2011 it was reported that Arsenal had reached an agreement with Saprissa with Campbell signing a 5 year deal around $1.5m (£930,000) with Arsenal
  • Selected for Costa Rica for the 2009 CONCACAF under 17 Championship, and scored two goals.
  • Named in the 2011 CONCACAF Under-20 Championship.  Scored six goals.
  • First match for Costa Rica national team on June 5, 2011 in the Gold Cup, scoring one goal.

Can you help devise Arsenal’s 25 list for next season? (and the end of the stupid “weakened team” rule)

Are you related to anyone involved in the original Woolwich Arsenal club?  Player, supporter, manager, official, director…  If so I need to hear from you

Untold Arsenal

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