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Joel Campbell. 7 players and a new Arsenal partnership arrangement

Untold Arsenal on Twitter @UntoldArsenal

By Tony Attwood

Joel Campbell has completed a transfer of a little under £1m from Deportivo Saprissa – a record for a Costa Rican player.  I feel a little attachment to the lad already since I have actually been to the country, and loved every second of it – except perhaps flying over the mountains from the west coast to the east in a five seater plane and throwing up over the pilot.

But leaving such indelicate matters aside it has also become clear from Young Guns Blog that Saprissa has entered a partnership deal with Arsenal.  Saprissa execs said that the plan was to exchange training ideas and create an Academy, where Arsenal and Saprissa would choose from the best of Costa Rica.

Saprissa officials will be coming to London to explore how the whole thing will work.

Joel has signed a five-year-contract and will use the number 12 shirt.  Arsenal now apply for a work-permit.  If that doesn’t arrive the player will be loaned out unless he can use his mother’s connections to get dual nationality.

AC Milan and Barcelona have been tracking the player according to the Daily Mirror (well, yes, I know).  He has played six times for the Costa Rica and has also played at Under-17 and Under-20, level, scoring goals each time.  He is said to have place, power and technique.

So why did it seem on, and then off?   One reason is that Barca perhaps said they would screw up every Arsenal transfer until Cesc went to warm their bench and plunge them deeper into debt.  Another might be that Arsenal concluded the player deal but were still working on the Academy exchange deal.  Now that could be something worth seeing – supposing our brightest who wanted a bit of time out, were loaned into Costa Rica to get some real competitive games.   No good for getting a passport clearance, but great if you already have one.

This means that thus far we have the following players whom we did not have with us for all or most of last season

  • Vermaelen (out injured last year)
  • Frimpong (injured last year)
  • Ryo (unable to play due to no work permit)
  • AOC (transfer)
  • Jenkinson (transfer)
  • Gervinho (transfer)
  • Joel Campbell (transfer but awaiting clearance)

Now is that enough?  Not according  to many people who are against Wenger.  But let us also remember that poor chap Roberto Mancini, because he has been having a go at the Man City board because they have not concluded transfers.    They might get Nasri, but letting someone (guess) go the other way is a problem.

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“Last year was the same too,” Mr M said. “I don’t understand this. I thought we could get all the players we needed three or four weeks ago. But here we are and the deals aren’t closed.

“We need Nasri. I asked for this player two months ago. I’m worried because I don’t have this player today and I probably won’t have him tomorrow. We play three games in August and I am worried.”

The Nasri deal has been held up because the clubs are arguing about the structure of the payments for a deal that would cost City in the region of £23m.

Mr Mancini is said to have fallen out with our old chum Brian Marwood, and has admitted that he (Mancini) is not speaking to him (Brian).  “I hope that we can get the players I asked for two months ago. Monday is the start of the season for us and we have not completed our team. I hope we can do this very quickly because we need other players.”

He almost sounds like an anti-Wengerian who claims to be an Arsenal fan!

Tough old world, doing transfers, isn’t it.

48 comments to Joel Campbell. 7 players and a new Arsenal partnership arrangement

  • bob

    “Enough” is a wonderfully loaded word for you to trawl with at this moment. Ok, I’ll bite, but see you later on in the comments.

  • Mark Ayling

    You forgot Aaron Ramsey! Out injured for most of last season.

  • Odu

    It should have been better if all transfer issues were sorted before or at worst during the pre-season games. Now it will take time and the new players are not on ground yet. Wenger is out of touch with time.

  • Feeno

    Odu im sure wenger has a watch, or maybe his blackberry has a clock on it. He could check the tellie, dont think he’ll have a problem telling the time.

  • George_D

    You forgot Lansbury…

  • bob

    my broken watch is right two times a day.

  • BobbyP


    Given that 5 of the 6 new signings are under 20 (and with no Premier League experience), I don’t think it’s unreasonable to think that more additions are required, to provide depth, experience and quality. Particularly as experienced players Fabregas, Clichy and Denilson have left (and Nasri, Eboue and Bendtner may well follow).

    Arsène himself has said that he thinks another defender is needed:

    I would be amazed if there aren’t at least two more signings before the window closes.

  • jazbo

    Pity we can’t get rid of some of these fairweather fans during the transfer window.

  • bc

    You forgot traore mannoe afobe

  • Bob

    But aside from Verminator, they are unproven kids!

  • Donnie

    so we are letting
    this plays go

    fabrigas – ramsay
    nasri – ryo

    eboue – jenkins
    benderrr – gervinhio
    – alex

    now last game we used arshaving rosicky and ramsay
    is that and improvemnt from last seaon where we finished 4th

    thats a simple NO .

    we cant replace fab and nasri with ramsay and ryo
    they are both great talent but it to early for them.

    wenger has said he is bring in one or two players

    forgett the diffence are biggers problem is the middle
    we cant use arshaving and rosicky in are fist eleven.

  • Lanz

    I expect us to sign Jadson and Jagielka. But how I wish for one more midfield maverick!

  • that is enough for the future not now

  • Waz

    I must say I feel Mancini’s pain, they have such a small squad where they have bought so well! Is it me or does he sound like a spoilt, only child. Perhaps he should learn to build a team rather than take the sheik’s scouting recommendations based on playing FIFA on the ps3.

    Agree with point above, we need experience to help youngsters fulfil potential

  • the font

    marvelous marvin is on his way if recent reports are to be believed over the course of a season he will be more productive than nasri and allways gives a good account of himself unlike the ungreatful nasri

  • Ugandan Goon

    i am excited about joel campbell simply because his nickname is “el pantero” that means the panther not “guy pants” as the wags amongst our readership might have thought.

  • J

    If you are seriously suggesting that a couple of teenagers are enough to push us on to win titles i think you maybe be insane … something to check up on.

    So those 7 players are in … and these are the players out:
    1.Eboue (likely)
    2. Clichy
    3. Bender (likely)
    4. Cesc
    5. Denilson (loan)
    6. vela (loan)
    7. Possibly Nasri

    So it would be an even swap, if vela, bender, eboue and nasri do end up leaving – but the indications are quite strong they will go, bar possibly vela

    Lets look at the team/ squad and see if we are stronger:

    Defence – Jenkinson, an improvement on eboue but not bought to be 1st team. Clichy going is great for gibbs, but it weakens us on that flank – verma back, kos and djourou a year more experience. I would say its all even really, possibly a little stronger in fact, but it remains to be seen.

    Midfield – No brainer, the loss of cesc, regardless of any new buys, has weakened the middle of our team. If nasri goes aswell then we are definitely weakened, no need to explain. Both den and ros are useless space fillers, so again i think den out is compensated for with ros.
    Ryo and AOC could offer us something we really need on the wings, which is a big positive. Whats more song and frimpong could leave in january, meaning we will have no dm
    Overall – we are significantly weakened in this area, with a lot of our strength in depth.
    depleted, an injury to jack or aaron could finish us.

    Striker – Is gervinho a striker? Well he looks good, but he is really the only buy wenger has made who is probably suppose to be a first team player right away. Chamakh has regressed, scoring goals looks beyond him at the moment. Bender gone, JET gone, vela maybe going and with both chamakh and gervinho going to acon aswell, we have to rely on van p staying injury free and inform all season.
    Overall … weaker. Gervinho is good, but we need more.

    To get top four … depending on our mentality and courage, this team will probably make it – depending on injuries, however.

    To win any silverware …. no chance.

  • Mystic

    I want so much, but Wenger will buy so little. Oh well, I’ll still support the Arsenal come what may.

  • Ugandan Goon

    It is easy to hand wring now, if you contrast this to the noises coming out of the emirates about getting rid of these very players and bringing in more english players etc etc all in the face of remonstrations from the club that there wasn’t enough money to compete with the petrol heads!
    The transfer window is not closed yet but if like most sensible sorts you know that the only waay to succeed the way we play football is to truly play for each other and to gel then i’d worry less about individuals than that a massive shake up of the squad takes us back to page 1. That said, i am a real fan for better or worse and all that i ask is breath in my body to follow the fortunes of my beloved ARSENAL

  • bob

    This may be hard to hear from me; but, mate, I agree with you totally! Cheers.

  • bob

    Two weeks to go. Yes? And presumably no financial issues to claim or lament. Yes? Let’s agree to take stock again then…

  • J

    ”That said, i am a real fan for better or worse and all that i ask is breath in my body to follow the fortunes of my beloved ARSENAL”

    Thats very valiant of you.

    But i believe now is the time to be a little more objective. Thats not to say by looking at the team im expressing negative views concerning wenger or even the players, which i do not think i have by the way.

    I just listened to a good interview on talkshite with Philippe Auclair and he finishes with saying myabe we will get hazard or mata – in my opinion these deals are not going to happen. Wenger has got Ryo and AOC in and unless Eden or Juan can play central and have superb technical ability theres no way they are coming – plus, neither club will sell to us.
    All the other big names have ruled themselves out of coming to us, so forget them.

    It appears we need the team to show that mental resilience wenger is always on about – which i have never seen by the way, maybe enough mental strength to cling onto 4th spot but never enough to actually win.

    There are rumours that Gervinho feels he was brought to arsenal under false pretences because nasri and cesc have been sold … theres word of disquiet in the dressing room also.

    Ability wise, we can still get top four…. but this team has the capability to destroy itself due to lack of belief, inexperience and division. If we get of to a bad start in our next 4 games, and there have been no buys i fear we might crumble before the season has begun

  • papilo junior

    y i lik arsenal fans is that they are always optimistic,but pls lets stop talking lik women and act lik men, we need three players one striker,one midfielder and one defander

  • bob

    While I feel that there’s still two weeks to see what’s finally up, I feel that your analysis is at least an analysis, and that you do care about the team, and there are potential reasons to fear for a calamity in terms of this season. We shall see. This said, where can you document the rumors about Gervinho and the locker room. I don’t think citing undocumented rumors is fair play and it can play havoc without people knowing things like did it come from the Sun, etc. For my lights, I would hope you can provide the rumor sources rather than re-echo them.

  • Aussie Jack

    From what I read Campbell has already had a `work permit` approved and, according to Wenger,has gone home to pick it up.

  • Ty

    Sell the magnificent 7
    And buy Cahill ,sow,kagwa,Martin,dann or
    Mertasacker and if there is enough mata or hazard

  • Richard

    Seems the anti Wenger clan are succeeding in convincing Arsenal fans the club is a failure. Seems the people seeking Wenger’s head regard last season a dismal failure. Can’t they see what is going on? How can a club that finished 3 points behind Chelsea and Man City be regarded a failure despite the amount Chelsea spent in January. I feel so sorry for Wenger. They’ve brainwashed my friends so much that the belief is that if Arsenal buys Cahill, Samba or Jagielka the will win everything. The question I can’t find answers to, “Why these three players?” Wenger has bought young English players yet no credit. Vermaelen played about 5 games last season and was not part of the failed defence.

    Why do these guys want Wenger out? If it is about signing players, why don’t they wait till 31st August to have a go if he fails to buy defenders…so sick of this campaign…..

  • J

    Let me first say, I am firmly a wenger knows member – but as the old saying goes, a true patriot will attack his own country if need be. Still, getting rid of wenger is completely the opposite of what we need.

    However, that does not excuse the fact that this squad is seriously depleted – i can argue a case that its not wengers fault he cannot afford to pay top quality players the wages other can, buts thats no excuse for allowing for the significant reduction in quality throughout our squad.

    I also fear that the type of ‘super quality’ we think is needed is now beyond arsenal football club, and will be for at least 2-3 more years, whilst our commercial deals are still a hinderance to us. Wenger thinks these teenagers are enough, and i say good enough for top four- but not to win trophies.

    Every year we are letting go of our bigger names, yet people still complain when we are called a selling club – despite the evidence staring straight at them. Therein lies the point, for the next 3 years we will sell more players and replace with teens – its all about the sustainability of the football club and untill we get the commercial deals in place this pattern will not end.

  • J

    As for the rumours, fair enough – my hands are up!

    In my defense i did state they were rumours

    The reason i added them in was because i find them completely feasible and worth noting.

    Why would the team not be disheartened and why wouldn’t there be disquiet?

    More players have gone out then come in, 2 of the best players at the club have gone and apart from gervinho, only teenagers have come in

    Players are fans to and they will have the same fears we do.

  • Dec

    Wonderful as it is to see the huge potential of the new youg signings come to the club, the problem that faced Arsenal FC at the end of last season was a fragility in defence that caused more than a few hearts to miss more than a few beats in most games and ultimately to sink at the expected and sadly ever present blunder that cost us point after point over recent years. The goalkeeping problem has resolved itself eventually, probably a couple of years too late, but better late than never and now we’ve a top class keeper. However, nobody in any seriousness can say that we have a first rate back four, even with a full squad to choose from. The arrival of Jenkinson has helped and young Gibbs doesn’t cause me palpitations as long as he stays injury free. But TV5 is the only central defender we have that causes any opposing forward to dread the confrontation. Opposing forwards see the rest of our central defenders as huge opportinities for plunder. It’s only a matter of waiting for whichever one is playing to make their obligatory mistake, et voila. We’re struggling again. That Arsene has not signed an experienced, mature, confident, imposing defender by now is bordering on neglect. It’s a replica of the years we spent carrying journeymen goalkeepers while obvious solutions were available (Given, Schwarzer, Jusskaleinen etc..). Replacing Cesc and probably Nsri (even if we could do that) will only get us back to where we’ve been for the last few years – fodder for of mediocre teams to put us under pressure and wait for the mistakes to come (and they always do). We shouldn’t fear going to the likes of Stoke, Newcastle, Bolton etc. but we’ve struggled time after time because we’re so bloody fragile. Sadly I fear the kids we’ve acquired will weave pretty patterns all over midfield again this year, to limited effect while less skilled teams with less skilled but ‘effective’ players take the gifts our defence give them and steal points from us both home and away. I know it must be difficult to sign top players but surely by now we should have a solution to the problem. We’ll keep on supporting Arsen regardless and be grateful for all he’s done but he doesn’t make it easy sometimes. Allez Le Gaffer.

  • Stroller


    Sure there are always rumours. But the side looked a lot more together at Newcastle than for several matches last season, so the suggestion of discontent is hardly proven. And it’s riduculous to believe that Gervinho didn’t have any idea about the Cesc and Nasri before joining given that both sagas have been running for months. He’s been in France for goodness sake, not on Pluto.

  • Dan AKA The Truth


    Be honest with me please. I know you and Walter are ardent Wenger fans and I’ll never expect you to turn against him, but I also know that you’re both intelligent chaps. I just have to ask this one question: was this article meant as a wind up or do you genuinely believe that Arsenal have sufficient quality and strength in depth to become competitive this season?


  • bob

    Dan AKA the Truth,
    I’d say it’s a windup, but fun in its provocative way. The operative word here is “enough” – that is, what is “enough” (presumably for this season). We’ll see in the next two weeks whether Arsene/Arsenal have felt there was enough today. Tony doesn’t actually say it’s “enough,” but asks. And, as all know, of course, is the only definition of “enough” of what is enough today will be answered by Arsene/Arsenal’s acquisitions or not over the next two weeks. Not much else to say until Udinese.

  • bob

    sorry, Dan, I meant to end with:
    “And, as all know, of course, the only definition of “enough” that matters today will be answered by Arsene/Arsenal’s acquisitions or not over the next two weeks.”

  • Dan AKA The Truth

    Ahhh, phew! Cheers, Bob!

  • XX


  • Ed

    i would like to think that the team, instead of getting diheartened, will begin to have a seige mentality like that at Manchester UTd after the loss of Cesc and possibly Nasri and also the criticism by some fans and analysts.

    I would like to think that the players who really wear their heart on their sleeve such as RVP, Wilshire, Vermaelen, will pick up the team and help them prove to the doubters, the critics, Cesc and Samir that they’re alot better than they’re gave them credit for.

    Its partly why man utd did so well with arguably mediocre players last season and i hope Arsene can start providing that spirit in the team this season.

    After teh first game, i am more confident about the defence. They looked solid in the newcastle game, vemaelen and koscielny looked good and covered well for each other, djourou wud b a good back-up. i think like some fans said, its a team defence system, not just individuals last season, and it showed cos we played a more defensive strategy and didnt look troubled at the back. i think we still need one big strong brick shithouse of a cb to deal with the physical teams like Stoke (did you see the way they played rugby against chelsea?) like Samba or Mertsacker.

    and one creative midfielder to take the place of cesc. someone lie modric?? haha!

  • Ed

    true fans support their team whether they win trophies or not. glory hunters support whichever team has just won the trophy.

    Its not like we’re not even challenging… we are there or thereabouts for most competitions we entered last year and for the past 6 years. but there were only 4 trophies up for grabs each year and hundreds of teams going for them.

    Then you have to take into account that of those teams, there are about 10 who can throw money problems as though debt and bankruptcy doesnt apply to them e.g. Chelsea, Man City, Barcelona, Real Madrid, PSG, Inter Milan, Ac MIlan amongst others. And actually, arsenal have performed better than most of them each year.

    by your “facts” that players and teams are not good enough beacuse they do not win, then i guess Cahill, Samba and Parker are not good enough either because they have won absolutely nothing too.

    a bit of perspective as to what Arsene has done for us, where he has taken us, and what he is up against, please.

  • andy bishop

    Srong words by some.. I doubt Wenger will crack under the pressure, defensively the team might. We did not concede against Newcastle, that maybe because we defended as a team well or Newcastle have very little offensively..time will tell. What is really worrying is the lack of discipline getting dragged into the bullshit players like Barton and Taylor create. Ramsey ran and tackled all day long and did not react. Song should be a big player for us this year, why suggest a stamp on Barton at a crucial time of the game already on a yellow?. Song chose to do this no one else. I say suggest as it was not a real stamp..was it. Once again our team is in transition and at the moment we have a slim chance with our best team out. Petty yellows etc have to be cut out especially by our so called experienced big players.

  • @xx Ferdinand is injured,Anderson too for a period of time so should Fergieshake(you remember when he was shaking like a zombie against Barcelona) sign another defender!! what if Samba and Parker get injured in their first match for a season what will xx do play in the first eleven or moan!! Give us a break. Teams like Stoke,Middles borough,Ipswich,Derby don’t they have surpoters!!Have they given up on their teams ? Go and surport Manure C….,for your information xx Wenger is going no where not today or tomorrow.

  • Richard




    Parker played in a Team that was relegated..Very funny!
    Samba and Cahill defended in Teams that finished below Arsenal.

    Without Vermaelen, Arsenal finished 4th. Only 3 points behind Chelsea and Man City (Most fans don’t know this). So far this season we added Jenkinson (Young English talent) to Vermaelen’s return, yet you believe our defence is so weak we wouldn’t even compete.

    Where are the blogs attacking Liverpool for going 5 years without a trophy? Yet in every media outlet, there is a blog slating Wenger. If I recall, Ferguson is the only Manager to finish above Arsenal consistently since we last won a trophy.

    Sure Wenger must be doing something right.

  • Woolwich Peripatetic

    You could consider the Cesc experiment to be officially concluded now. Not just because Cesc is gone but because a lot of the Cesc accessories are either gone or marginalised.
    I think we’ll be much harder to beat but score less, whether that works in our favour or against us no-one can say.

  • bob

    andy bishop,
    There’s a story at work here that needs to be aired. I think Barton/Taylor have this down to a science and cynically know how to provoke our African players and are vicious enough to be willing to play it out. This didn’t start or end in Saturday’s match. It also goes back to last year’s match against Newcastle; and let’s not forget when Sagna was mugged twice (if not thrice) at a different match last year, and there was no flag to protect him – it went “unnoticed!” by ref and “unreported” from the 4th official – and yes, Sagna lost his cool in the next match and got flagged for an over-retaliation. But it was him exploding from not-being protected and nearly being shredded at great cost to career/season in that previous match. It can be said that Ok, they’re professional and should know better or be coached to be aware and ready for it. I would agree; but I definitely understand, eyes open, that Barton/Taylor and their ilk know they can pull this shite and get away with it with a yellow card at worst (and hence, no send off or damage to their team) – through the backing of their coach and the cowardice of an enabling league that runs a Respekt der Ref Kampaign whilst turning a blind eye to the violent disrespect that’s dished out at some players. If this is too much to swallow, then consider it in narrower Arsenal self-interest terms – if this behavior discourages talented men like Gervinho from even coming to AFC in the first place. That would be a terrible price to be forced to pay. But I think that Barton/Taylor and Coach, with others at their back, know this all too well.

  • bob

    Woolwich Peripatetic,
    I can only hope that with x-Cesc gone, the media will have lost one of its cash cows – the Cesc Leaving story. What’s to fill the media vacuum, I fear, is their next (necessary) cash cow – the Arsene Out story. Actual Arsenal fans must be vigilant and fight this.

  • anatra

    I’m not too worried about the footballing part of Arsenal. Before every season in recent years, Arsenal has clearly been disastrous (according to some), only to refute it when the season is under way.
    What I AM worried about is the amount of crap in the press, and with more and more people buying into it. Not only the tiresome saga of Fabregas, but what about Nasri…
    As far as I know, the only “wrongdoing” Nasri has done, is not putting a pen to a paper. Still there’s been all this “facts” in the papers about how it’s all down to that he wants to leave and go to Man United… or maybe it was Man City? And this despite the club going out saying that Nasri was happy to stay at Arsenal for the season and see out his contract (not an ideal situation, but nevertheless).
    First it was all about the trophies (Man U) and know it’s all about the money (Man City). Not a word about the possibility that he wants to be guaranteed a place in the middle of the pitch before putting his signature anywhere (with Cesc gone that could be the case). I don’t say that as a fact, but as a possible scenario. Yet, for every day that passes with disobliging chants at matches and fans acting out in blogs and columns, the less I feel Arsenal will be able to keep him. Is this the anti-Arsenal mission? To ensure that Arsenal and their fans are on such a collision course that the players wants to leave – hence anti-Arsenal was “right” all along?

    Sorry for the rant but this has really bugged me lately.

  • bob

    yes, i think you’re on to something that’s more than a mere rant – that elements of AAA and potential backers have a media strategy going that’s targeted Arsene and driving out players is part of its game plan. It’s worth keeping this alive as a hypothesis and seeing how/whether it continues. I’d hope you bring more on this topic as you see it unfold.

  • anatra

    I have also seen some reports (the first of a flood?)of Wenger being tempted to leave the “sinking ship” for more green pastures at PSG, as he is tired of not being able to splash the cash and compete with the newly rich.
    Or the ones about how we all should be aware (and scared) of what will happen next summer with players like Walcott and van Persie who will only have a year left on their contracts then.
    If Nasri goes, I bet these are some of the next possible angles we will see.

  • steww

    I come to this site for my Arsenal news as it is the best written and actually supports Arsenal. I had hoped it would therefore attract a higher standard of writing and support in the comments section. Trawling through these hideous, craven, surrendering and above all depressing posts has convinced me to stick to the articles.
    Dressing your rubbish up with ‘I actually support Wenger, but…’ doesn’t make you a fan.

    Shameful, sickening negativity and anti support. Just like that summer when we only signed one guy. Do you remember? Everyone thought Arsene had gone mad because all he bought was a German goalie with a reputation as being unbalanced.

    Check your history look what happened, grow some backbone and support the team for crying out loud.