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Campbell's chance to impress Wenger

Wednesday, June 18, 2014

FORTALEZA, Brazil - Joel Campbell may not have been a household name before the World Cup but if he continues his scoring form in Brazil, he may well emerge from the tournament as one of its unlikely stars.

And should that be the case, Campbell will likely be hoping his current club boss Arsene Wenger is the first to sit up and take notice.

Those unfamiliar with the Costa Rican might be surprised to learn that he is actually contracted to Arsenal, although in the last three years since joining the club as a teenager, he has yet to pull on the red shirt.

Originally it was work permit issues that scuppered his hopes of dazzling EPL defences and he was sent out on loan to Lorient in France's Ligue 1 in his first season before joining Real Betis in Spain's La Liga for his second.

Yet even though he was finally granted a British work permit last season, Wenger was still not ready to put his trust in Campbell, who spent that season in Greece with Olympiakos.

He did give his Gunners boss one timely reminder of his talent with a brilliant goal against Arsenal's perennial rivals Manchester United in the Champions League, but his goal and match-winning performance against Uruguay last Saturday will have introduced his precocious abilities to an even wider audience.

"He's a man who unsettles you, he surprises, changes the tempo, he was uncontainable for the Uruguay defence," said Costa Rica's coach Jorge Luis Pinto.

Usually, when players from so-called lesser nations shine at a World Cup, it is in the hope that a big-spending European club will invest in their services.

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