Fringe player rules out leaving Arsenal in January
By Arsenal correspondent Tony Hughes
Joel Campbell has revealed he wants to stay and fight for his Arsenal place next year.
The 23-year-old forward is out of contract next summer and could be offloaded by the club in January, which represents their last chance of getting a fee for him.
But Campbell, who has started each of Arsenal’s last three matches following an injury crisis, says he has no intention of leaving Emirates Stadium.
“No, I’m an Arsenal player and I’m very happy here,” Campbell told reporters. “I’m fighting to achieve my aims and hope to stay here for a long time.”
Campbell joined Arsenal in 2011 but has had loan spells at Lorient, Real Betis, Olympiakos and Villarreal and rarely featured up until the last fortnight.
Asked if he has done enough to secure a regular starting place in the absence of the likes of Aaron Ramsey, Theo Walcott and Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, Campbell said: “You never know in football. I’m just focusing on playing and doing as well as I can, then it’s up to the manager to make the decisions.
“If I’m playing it’s because he has confidence in me so I just try to do the best job I can.
“I’m trying to take advantage of my opportunity but I know that what happens next is up to the manager. As I’ve said, I’m just focusing on playing and performing as well as possible and the rest is up to him.”
The Costa Rica international admits he had to be patient earlier in the season while he waited for his first-team opportunity.
“Obviously as a player you always want to play, but we have lots of very good players here so you have to be patient and make the most of your opportunity when it comes around,” explained Campbell.
“I’m happy playing in any position. I can play centrally, but I feel comfortable on the right too and I just try to do the best job I can.”