Arsene Wenger is ready to give Joel Campbell the opportunity to establish himself at Arsenal.
The Arsenal manager is here in Porto Alegre as a commentator for French television for Sunday evening’s game between France and Honduras.
But Wenger confirmed that he planned to have the star of Costa Rica’s stunning defeat of Uruguay back in his Arsenal squad after sending the 21-year-old out on loan in 2011.
Stealing the show: Joel Campbell inspired Costa Rica to an impressive win over Uruguay on Saturday
Who’s the daddy? Campbell celebrates after scoring Costa Rica’s equaliser early in the second half
‘He will definitely come back to us for pre-season,’ Wenger told Sportsmail. ‘He is maturing well.’
Wenger missed the Costa Rica game because he was on a flight into Porto Alegre but on landing he received a message from former Chelsea manager Avram Grant, who is here in Brazil for Israeli TV and informed his friend and colleague how well Campbell was playing.
Campbell scored once and created another as Costa Rica caused a major upset by beating Uruguay 3-1 in Fortaleza.
Campbell signed for Arsenal three years ago but has spent the entire time out on loan, with Wenger feeling he was not ready for first team football at Arsenal.
He sent him first to Lorient in France, then Real Betis in Spain and most recently to Greek champions Olympiacos, where he impressed against Manchester United in the Champions League.
Curler: Campbell scored for Olympiacos against Manchester United in last season’s Champions League
Kneesy does it: Campbell scored nine goals for the Greek side during his season-long loan spell
‘Today was excellent for me but it would have come to nothing without the contribution of my colleagues,’ said Campbell after the game.
‘Everyone lived up to their responsibilities. I tried to do my best to score goals and my colleague supported me.
‘We have to take one step after another. We have difficult matches ahead but this will give us impetus.’
Wenger, meanwhile, was reluctant to give a lengthy interview – insisting with a smile that he was ‘not working’ – but he was happy to chat and he said he was thrilled by the quality of the football he had so far seen, stating that the tournament was of much higher quality than in South Africa four years ago.
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