Tuesday, 19 July 2011

Who is Joel Campbell?

I have been keeping an eye on this year’s Copa America tournament in Argentina, and while Japan was expected to take part as a special guest of the tournament, they had to withdraw due to the Tsunami disaster. CONMEBOL, South America’s football governing body subsequently sought a replacement; they looked to Central America; Costa Rica. An invitation to the tournament they duly accepted, and take this as an opportunity to test out what was essentially an under 23 squad, given this was their second major tournament this year, after the Gold Cup.

With this opportunity, and the young squad, it was a chance for a young Costa Rican to display his ability at a football tournament which has gained more television exposure than ever before. I was watching the highlights of the Group A match between Costa Rica and Bolivia, an entertaining game with two players sent off for Bolivia and Costa Rica running out 2-0 winners. There was one individual who was the stand out performer in the win, and this was a young man only earning his fifth international cap, and that was 19 year old Joel Campbell.

Campbell impressed with his dynamic pace, skill, flair and sheer tenacity. He’s a left footed forward player who is not afraid to take a shot on goal from outside the box, something which will be music to Arsenal fans ears. He is also a admirable set piece taker, and has shown composure in front of goal at international level.

Before the tournament he was linked with a move to Sunderland, but now it seems one of the biggest clubs in Europe, with Arsenal still seen as one of the best clubs for young talent to come, nurture their potential and be having the prospect of being given a first team opportunity.

Joel Campbell is a very promising player, and will be a good piece of business for Arsenal, costing just £900,000. The players father has already said that the medical in San José, Costa Rica, with members of the Arsenal club supervising. He is expected to complete his move from Costa Rican side Deportivo Saprissa, and he will be loaned out for the forthcoming season, because he hasn’t played the full number of required senior internationals to achieve a work permit.

Here’s all you need to know

Age: 19

Date of birth: 26/06/1992

Nationality: Costa Rican

Position: Forward

Club: Arsenal

Previous Club: Deportivo Saprissa

Club Apps: 3 Club Goals: 0

International Apps: 6 International Goals: 2

Transfer Fee: £900,000

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