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Campbell is 'good enough' for Arsenal

ESPN staff
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Joel Campbell scored in Costa Rica's World Cup opener against Uruguay last Saturday © Getty Images
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Arsenal's Joel Campbell is good enough to make an impact at the Emirates next season and just needs Arsene Wenger to give him a chance, according to the striker's father.

Campbell, 21, has been an Arsenal player for three years but has spent all of that time on loan at Real Betis and Olympiakos. He will return to the Premier League club for pre-season training at least this summer.

But his father, Humberto Campbell believes he would already have been noted as top-level striker if he came from a more established football nation than Costa Rica.

"My country is a small country - just a few million - and people pretty much ignore us," Campbell senior told the Daily Mail. "But if my son was Brazilian, for example, he would be famous around the world.

"Hopefully [Wenger] can see what Joel can do. If they bring him back home to Arsenal I will be very happy. If they don't then wherever they send him he just has to go and keep his feet on the ground.

"He has always been good enough. He just needs them to give him the chance. I always had it in mind that Arsene knows what is best for young ones. He always makes good players."

Arsenal striker Olivier Giroud admitted earlier this month that the club would need to sign a new frontman to increase competition and Mario Balotelli has been said to be a transfer target.

Campbell made a name for himself last season with a goal for Olympiakos as they beat Manchester United 2-0 in the first leg of their Champions League last-16 tie. He was also on the scoresheet in Costa Rica's 3-1 victory in their Group D opener against Uruguay last Saturday.

"When he played against United, I told him that it had to be the game to shine, to show the world what he can do," Campbell's father said. "He has the football to show in England and this is the time for him to prove it to everybody. What he did against Uruguay, it was incredible.

"I knew he was going to score or do something exceptional, like he did for the third goal. I expected that. I knew it would happen."

Costa Rica assistant coach Paolo Wanchope supported the claims of Campbell's talent, but warned he would need to improve his game to survive at Arsenal.

"He really wants to go back to Arsenal and play," Wanchope told the Daily Telegraph. "He did well against Uruguay. He needs to perform even better against Italy and then England to have that chance to go back to Arsenal."

Wanchope, the former West Ham and Manchester City striker, is helping prepare Costa Rica for their clash with Italy on Friday before they face England next Tuesday.

And while England head coach Roy Hodgson has plenty of selection questions to ponder, such as where best to play Wayne Rooney, Wanchope said he is confident Campbell's versatility can pay off for club and country.

"I'm sure that Arsène Wenger will have a look at him," Wanchope said. "He will improve and he is capable of playing up front or on the sides so he will do well."

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