Arsenal and Costa Rica forward Joel Campbell has joined Portuguese side Sporting Lisbon on a season-long loan.
Last season’s Liga Nos runners-up Sporting will become Campbell’s fifth loan since joining Arsenal in 2011 and could be the beginning of the end of his Gunners career.
Campbell loaned out once more
He scored four goals in 30 games last season, his only full season at Arsenal, but was mostly confined to substitute appearances despite some glimpses of brilliance over the Winter and Spring months as Arsenal struggled to find some consistency.
Stuck behind English pair Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell’s inability to force his way into Arsene Wenger’s plans despite his healthy pre-season was perhaps very telling towards his future at the club, with it looking as if he will be a disappointing flop.
Signed from Deportivo Saprissa in 2011, Campbell had to wait until 2014 to make his first appearances for Arsenal due to work permit issues, meaning he spent his first three seasons on loan at Lorient, Real Betis and Olympiacos.
Can he rediscover Champions League form?
He really made a name for himself in Olympiacos' shock 2-0 victory against David Moyes’ Manchester United in the 2013-14 UEFA Champions League Round of 16 with a stunning second goal, although United would recover in the return leg at Old Trafford to dump the Greek side out 3-2 on aggregate.
His first season at Arsenal didn’t plan out very well for the Costa Rican forward, who’d impressed for his country at the 2014 FIFA World Cup, helping them reach the quarter-finals despite a group containing former World Champions England, Italy and Uruguay and facing Euro 2004 winners Greece in the second round.
Several anonymous performances with Arsenal led to a fourth loan spell, and a second in Spain, this time with Villarreal where he scored one goal in 20 games.
Despite some good performances last season, he’s never been completely trusted by Wenger and a fifth loan spell isn’t the most surprising move for him but now passed an age where he is still a growing prospect, this may be the end of his time in North London, especially with youngsters like Alex Iwobi, Chuba Akpom and Chris Willock coming through the ranks.