Joel Campbell has signed on loan for Sporting Lisbon until the end of the season. I the next couple of sentences, I am going to show you why this move was a mistake by Wenger!
Joel Campbell has been one of the few positive surprises last season. He started the season as a 7th choice winger, but ended up as the first or second choice.
Campbell showed that he has enough quality to play for Arsenal, and got the fans on his side with his incredible work rate!
Everyone was expecting Campbell to feature even more this season, while his main competitor on the right (Walcott) to be sold.
— Stevo ⚽ (@TheGunners247) August 21, 2016
“Campbell has enough quality”
Well, Wenger had other ideas as he loaned out Campbell, while Walcott looks like an unconditional first choice winger.
I think that Arsene Wenger is still the right manager for Arsenal. He has stabilized the club and made it one of the best in the world. Having said that, Wenger still makes some terrible choices due to his incredible stubbornness.
Theo Walcott was Wenger’s “pet project”. He bought a very young player and though that he could transform him into the “new Thierry Henry”.
“Campbell gives everything he has”
Walcott does possess incredible speed and pace, but that’s the only thing that’s similar to Thierry Henry!
You could say that Wenger failed to transform Walcott into a world’s best striker, but Wenger doesn’t seem to know that. He keeps giving the chance to a player, that has clearly regressed in the last couple of years and hasn’t improve in the last six years or so.
Wenger’s blind trust in Walcott doesn’t help anyone, even the player himself.
“Campbell isn’t injury prone”
Walcott never looked like a proper Arsenal player, he looked like an unfinished product that failed to adapt to Arsenal’s way of playing. He should be sold a long time ago and would probably prosper in a club like West Ham. A club who plays a counter attacking football, without much of possession.
If you would compare Joel Campbell and Theo Walcott, you could see that Campbell is a superior player.
Campbell is younger, more technical, and less injury prone. He can “last the whole season” without getting injured, something both Walcott and (Ox) Chamberlain (the other option on the wing) can’t.
“Campbell is better winger than Walcott”
Walcott scored five goals (TWO more than Campbell), but played almost 10 games more. Chamberlain played roughly the same amount of games (and minutes) as Campbell, but scored only one goal.
It would frankly be more sensible to sell Walcott (who has one of the biggest wages at the club) and loaning Chamberlain.
The only “attribute” they have against Joel Campbell, is their nationality (English) and Wenger (somehow) wants to make Arsenal’s core filled with English players.
“Campbell is more perspective than Walcott”
That’s all fine and dandy, but the problem is that this English players aren’t good enough, or fit enough. They are the most injury prone players at the club (at the moment), and none has really progressed like they should.
This all reminds me of Wenger’s wait for Abou Diaby.
A player who was constantly injured, but Wenger patiently waited for him to get well. It didn’t happen, and Diaby was (eventually) given a free transfer. Diably has still the same problems (having played three matches in two seasons for Marseille), and Wenger is still too patient with some “favorite” players.
“Campbell is one of the most hardworking Arsenal players”
Any other manager would have probably sold Walcott a long time ago, as a failed experiment, while Chamberlain would probably be on loan. Campbell would be a first team player, and Arsenal would have a brand new striker.
I am not saying that Wenger is totally wrong. He might still end up right, but at what cost?
Fans are too impatient about results, while Wenger is too patient with the “wrong” players. I think that both sides should adjust accordingly to make everyone happy. Trophies will come, but it will depend on Wenger, if they come sooner or latter!