Whatever happened to Joel Campbell?

When Arsenal signed Joel Campbell in 2011 aged 19 from the Costa Rican team Saprissa he looked like a typical Wenger signing of a young player pretty much no one outside of Costa Rica had heard of.

That he then went on a series of loans is not surprising – the clubs including Lorient, Betis, Olympiacos, Villarreal (on this day in 2015), Sporting CP, and Betis (again).   But as the list went on and on it became clear he was not going to make it at Arsenal (for whom he did play 23 times over the years), and was really not making a huge impression anywhere else – although he did knock in eight goals in 32 games for Olympiacos.

Eventually in 2018 he was sold to Frosinone who had just been promoted to Italy’s top division, but he only made 17 appearances there and in 2019 was loaned out to Leon in Mexico, for whom he has played 21 games (scoring four) this season.  He is now 27 years old.

Here are the anniversaries.

27 January 1894: Woolwich Arsenal suffered their first cup defeat: 1-2 at home to Sheffield Wednesday.

27 January 1916 conscription was finally introduced through the passing of the Military Service Act.  Unmarried men aged 18–41 were conscripted from 2 March with married men added to the list the following month.  All players were thus called up either to fight or work in wartime industries. Henry Norris was moved to work in the regional organisation of conscription for the War Office.

27 January 1917: Arsenal and Watford drew 1-1 at Highbury in front of 2,300 in the London Combination.  It was the lowest home crowd of the season

27 January 1919: As general strikes over wages were called in Belfast and Glasgow, the FA met in London and confirmed that there would be no FA Cup for 1918/19 (which was obvious, since the preliminary rounds then as now needed to start in September for the Cup to take place, and no room had been left in the league schedule even if only the league clubs took part.)

27 January 1934: Alex Wilson played his first game: Arsenal 7 Crystal Palace 0 in the FA Cup.  However the result was not especially remarkable for on that day five of the FA Cup games had six goals or more in them.  See also here

27 January 1945: Arsenal 8 Fulham 3. Stan Mortensen (a guest player for Arsenal, having signed for Blackpool in 1941) got four, having got a hattrick in the 9-3 win over Luton on 2 December.  He played over 300 times for Blackpool, and later managed the club – a job from which he was sacked.

27 January 1948:  On this day Don Roper was injured.against Aston Villa and although the team initially did well without him (winning the next three games) a run of seven games without a win took its toll, as Arsenal ended up 5th.

27 January 1951: Arsenal 3 Northampton Town 2 (FA Cup) in front of 72,408 – the all time FA Cup record crowd at Highbury.  (Lewis 2, and Roper got the goals). See also here.

27 January 1977: Bristol City 2 Arsenal 0, in front of 26,282.  An Arsenal team including Brady, Hudson, Rice, Nelson, Storey, O’Leary, Macdonald and Stapleton  hardly had a shot. It was City’s fifth win of the season.

27 January 1979: Arsenal had played five matches and progressed one round in the FA cup before this fourth round tie which ended Arsenal 2 Notts County 0, with a respectable 39,195 in the crowd.  See also here,

27 January 1989: Bermuda 2 Arsenal 4 (friendly).  (Richardson 2, Smith, Winterburn), during a two game winter break, arranged quickly after Arsenal were knocked out of the FA Cup in the third round.

27 January 1997: Andy Linighan sold to Crystal Palace.  Two versions of this transfer are told, one citing 21 Jan for £500,000 and one citing 27 January with a much lower fee.

27 January 2001.  QPR 0 Arsenal 6 (FA Cup round 4).  Wiltord scored two goals, and there were two own goals.  Pires and Bergkamp got one each en route to the final.

27 January 2002: Arsenal 1 Liverpool 0 (FA Cup 4) en route to the 3rd Double.  Having beaten Watford in the third round Arsenal saw off Liverpool in the fourth with a goal from Bergkamp in 27 minutes.

27 January 2015: Joel Campbell loaned to Villareal for the remainder of the season.  He had made his debut for Arsenal in the Community Shield game, and that and his world cup exploits in 2014 had suggested he might now play regularly for the first team but it was not to be – until the following season.

2 Replies to “Whatever happened to Joel Campbell?”

  1. Joel Campbell, an Arsenal flop no doubt. Flash in the pan, never truly EPL material. As a fan put it so well
    «We’d been better off with Naomi Campbell»

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