Featured Matches
Previous
Real Salt Lake
Montreal Impact
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
AC Milan
Olympiakos
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vélez Sarsfield
Estudiantes de Caseros
10:15 PM GMT
Game Details
FC Groningen
Aberdeen
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Sligo
Rosenborg
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Stjarnan
Motherwell
7:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Shakhter Karagandy
FK Atlantas
12:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Shakhter Karagandy
FK Atlantas
12:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Hapoel Be'er Sheva
RNK Split
1:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
MyPa
Dinamo Minsk
3:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Omonia Nicosia
FK Buducnost Podgorica
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Haugesund
FK Sarajevo
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Kuban Krasnodar
Sillamae Kalev
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 4 - 0
Game Details
Inter Baku
Elfsborg
4:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
IFK Goteborg
Györi ETO FC
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Lech Poznan
Kalju
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Liberec
MFK Kosice
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
Tromso
Víkingur Gøta
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
KS Flamurtari Vlorë
Petrolul Ploiesti
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 2
Game Details
SV Grödig Amateure
Cukaricki Belgrade
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 4 - 0
Game Details
Chikhura Sachkhere
Bursaspor
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
AIK Solna
Linfield
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Zimbru Chisinau
CSKA Sofia
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Shakhter Soligorsk
Derry City
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 0
Game Details
FC Vaduz
Ruch Chorzow
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 3
Game Details
Hapoel Tel Aviv
Astana 1964
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 3
Game Details
Esbjerg FB
Kairat Almaty
5:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
FC Spartak Trnava
FC Zestafoni
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
FC Groningen
Aberdeen
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
FC Zorya Luhansk
Laci
5:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 3 - 0
Game Details
Sligo
Rosenborg
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Zawisa Bydgoszcz
S.V. Zulte Waregem
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Vojvodina
AS Trencin
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 4
Game Details
Asteras Tripolis
RoPS
6:00 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 1
Game Details
Hajduk Split
Dundalk
6:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 0
Game Details
ND Gorica
Molde
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 4
Game Details
Jagodina
CFR Cluj-Napoca
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
NK Koper
Neftchi Baku PFC
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 1
Game Details
Ferencvaros
Rijeka
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 1
Game Details
Siroki Brijeg
Mlada Boleslav
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
Diosgyor VTK
PFC Litex Lovech
6:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Crusaders
Brommapojkarna
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 4 - 0
Game Details
St Johnstone
FC Luzern
6:45 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
St. Pölten
Botev Plovdiv
7:05 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
FH Hafnarfjordur
Neman Grodno
7:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 0 - 0
Game Details
Stjarnan
Motherwell
7:15 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 2 - 2
Game Details
Real Salt Lake
Montreal Impact
2:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Vélez Sarsfield
Estudiantes de Caseros
10:15 PM GMT
Game Details
Sport
Paysandu SC
10:30 PM GMT
Leg 2. Aggregate: 1 - 2
Game Details
AC Milan
Olympiakos
12:00 AM GMT
Game Details
Next

Fans not fussed with Vorm's exit

Swansea less than a minute ago
Read

The dilemma surrounding Borini

Liverpool 35 minutes ago
Read

Eisfeld exit the first of many

Arsenal 22 hours ago
Read

Head-to-Head: Courtois or Cech?

Chelsea 1 day ago
Read

Just like watching Barcelona

Stoke 1 day ago
Read

Summer transfers survey

Arsenal 2 days ago
Read

Summer transfers survey

Burnley 2 days ago
Read
Jun 30, 2014

Arsenal's difficult situation with Joel Campbell

Joel Campbell's goals vs. Uruguay set the tone for an unforgettable World Cup campaign.
Joel Campbell has impressed on loan and at the World Cup, but has yet to feature for Arsenal since joining in 2011.

The case of Joel Campbell is a curious one from an Arsenal point of view.

In summer 2011, before the sales of Cesc Fabregas and Samir Nasri and at a time when Arsenal's squad needed strengthening ahead of the new campaign, chief transfer fixer Dick Law spent almost a week in Costa Rica. Having been given the runaround by a number of agents purporting to represent the young striker, he eventually secured Campbell's signature, with the Gunners paying about 1 million pounds for his services.

They obviously saw something in him to spend that much time at a crucial juncture in the offseason to try and bring him to England, but an application for a "special talent" work permit was rejected. At that point, he hadn't played enough international games to qualify and it meant he would spend the next two seasons on loan.

First, he went to Lorient in France, where he played regularly and scored five goals during the campaign. After that it was to La Liga and a season with Real Betis, which saw a smaller return of two goals, but the Spanish side were impressed enough to try and keep him for another year.

- Transfer Talk Arsenal eye trio of strikers

Arsenal refused to sanction that move again, and in summer 2013, Campbell qualified for a work permit to play in England. However, there was no place for him in Arsene Wenger's squad, and he was sent out on loan to Greece, where he had a fine season for Olympiacos.

Wenger's decision to let him go last summer did raise some eyebrows, especially when you consider he kept the much inferior Ryo Miyaichi. Was it a sign that he believed the Costa Rican wasn't ready, or a decision to see if he could make a significant step up for a team playing Champions League football? If it was the latter, it was an inspired piece of management, as Campbell scored nine times -- including a memorable strike against Manchester United -- as well as providing 11 assists.

He has continued his progress at the World Cup, scoring against Uruguay and impressing in every game since. His cool penalty against Greece belied his tender years.

Yet, according to former Gunner Lee Dixon, the Arsenal manager was considering selling the player and wasn't exactly definitive about his future, stating "we'll see" when asked if he'd be part of the squad next season.

While Campbell has caught the eye, Arsenal have an abundance of options in attack -- even before they add to it this summer.

There's certainly promise and potential there, and perhaps playing on a better team at a better level would see him develop further. The big question is whether he improves Arsenal sufficiently for him to be given a real chance. There are very few people who would argue that the Gunners don't need a new striker this summer, but it's much harder to convince anyone that Campbell is the man to take the team forward. Olivier Giroud scored 22 goals and made nine assists last season, and what Arsenal require is somebody who can improve on that. It's very difficult to see Campbell as that player right now.

There are those who would argue that he could provide greater depth to the squad, and that's true. With Nicklas Bendtner departed, he could definitely take his place in the squad, but the Dane made just one league start last season. Is Campbell better than Yaya Sanogo? Quite probably, but he's a different kind of forward and really that's not where any kind of bar should be set.

In the current Arsenal setup, Campbell would probably struggle as the lone striker, so playing wide left or right would be the best option. Yet in those positions, Wenger already has Lukas Podolski, Theo Walcott, Santi Cazorla and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain. There's also the very highly thought of Serge Gnabry to consider.

Unless one or two of those players move on, it's hard to see Campbell playing as regularly as he would like. And assuming Arsenal do bring in the striker everyone wants, that pushes him even further down the pecking order.

Having had three seasons of first-team football, you also have to wonder if he'd be content to sit on the Emirates bench. With Costa Rica going further than expected in the World Cup and with players in Brazil given extended holidays, there's also the issue of his preseason starting later than that of others, and that's the time where he might convince Wenger he can give the squad something different.

At the very least, his progress in Greece and the impact he's made at the World Cup should see Arsenal turn a tidy profit if they decided to sell him. It remains to be seen if he's going to make north London his home for the foreseeable future.

Comments

Use a Facebook account to add a comment, subject to Facebook's Terms of Service and Privacy Policy. Your Facebook name, photo & other personal information you make public on Facebook will appear with your comment, and may be used on ESPN's media platforms. Learn more.