Costa Rica international Joel Campbell is reportedly close to agreeing on a loan move away from Arsenal to play in Liga Sagres with Sporting CP.
Portuguese newspaper O Jogo have reported that Sporting CP have reached an agreement with Arsenal on Friday to sign their forward Joel Campbell on a season-long loan. The report has added that the Costa Rican international has arrived at the club and is soon to undergo a medical to confirm the temporary move to Liga Sagres.
The 24-year old seemed to have finally broken into the first-team setup last season at Arsenal but according to O Jogo, Arsene Wenger has agreed to send the player out on another loan, this time to Sporting. Joel Campbell will play alongside his compatriot Bryan Ruiz in Portugal for the duration of the 2016-17 season as per the report.
Valencia were also rumoured to be interested in the player with earlier reports stating that the club had submitted an enquiry to Arsenal over the possibility of securing a move for the Costa Rica international. The Spanish club, though, have since not been linked with the player in any manner and it seems like Valencia have decided not to follow up their interest in the 24-year-old.
Campbell announced himself onto the big stage with his performances at the 2014 FIFA World Cup where heavy underdogs Costa Rica put together an amazing run that ended in the quarter-finals but the performance was not enough to convince the Arsenal manager as he was loaned out to Villareal for the better part of the 2014-15 season.
The 24-year old managed to appear in 19 Premier League matches for Arsenal last season with a decent return of 3 goals and 2 assists to show for his efforts (stats via whoscored). There were echoes of the player having earned his manager’s trust and that Arsene Wenger was now prepared to hand Joel Campbell an extended role in his first-team squad.
But, the player is set for another loan spell, this time to Sporting, who were narrowly pipped by Benfica to the Liga Sagres title last season. The player might find this as an ominous sign of his future prospects at Arsenal and might get frustrated and disenchanted with the club and decide to move away on a permanent basis in the future.
The move will be beneficial for the 24-year old though, as aside from Sporting being one of the top teams in Portugal, the player would be able to play regular football and feature in the Champions League with the club and some good performances during his temporary transfer might just raise his stock and attract interest from other top European sides.