5 Things Costa Rica's Joel Campbell Will Bring to Arsenal's Attack

Karla Villegas Gama@karlitsvFeatured ColumnistJune 26, 2014

5 Things Costa Rica's Joel Campbell Will Bring to Arsenal's Attack

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    Bernat Armangue/Associated Press

    Joel Campbell proved in the World Cup group stage he has matured, and his talent can be very useful for Arsenal next season.

    We are talking about a footballer who can score, assist and dribble easily.

    Campbell has had an instrumental role with his national side, but he has managed to step up at club level too, with Olympiakos.

    The 22-year-old will finally receive his big shot with the Gunners, and this is what he will bring.

    All advanced stats appear courtesy of FIFA.com, unless otherwise noted.


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    Michael Perez/Associated Press

    The kid can run. In the group stage he registered an average top speed of 27.18 km/h and made around 30 sprints per game.

    Joel Campbell can take balls in the center of the pitch and leave the rivals behind one by one easily, thanks to his speed and dribbling abilities.

    Campbell managed to have six solo runs into the penalty area, two in each game of the group stage, and 10 into the attacking third.

    With his club he has also impressed. At the last edition of the UEFA Champions League he had five solo runs into the penalty area, as reported by UEFA.com.


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    Jon Super/Associated Press

    Olivier Giroud can finally get a break when he's tired. Last season, the France international played 51 games with the Gunners.

    Giroud was carrying Arsenal's attack almost by himself until an ankle injury, which he suffered against Newcastle in December, put him off for two weeks.

    By that time, coach Arsene Wenger acknowledged the Frenchman had coped with the physical demands in style, per The Guardian

    With Joel Campbell on the roster, Arsenal will have another option in the last third of the pitch, making the club less dependent on Giroud.


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    Michael Regan/Getty Images

    Joel Campbell's abilities allow him to be a flexible player who can play through the flanks or as a forward; in either position he delivers good results.

    With Costa Rica he has been playing as a lone striker with the support of Bryan Ruiz, Junior Diaz and Christian Bolanos, and has scored once.

    With Olympiakos he is usually deployed to the right flank or used as a sub through the center of the pitch, from where he scored once in the past UEFA Champions League, against Manchester United.

    This means with Arsenal he could come in as a winger to feed balls and support Olivier Giroud, and later he could switch to the center of the box to take over the attack if needed.

    As a sub, he could be very useful in the last third of the pitch to change the team's pace due to his speed and unbalancing skills.

Goal Opportunities

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    Christophe Ena/Associated Press

    Joel Campbell is not only a fantastic finisher; he is also the kind of player who creates opportunities for his side.

    In the 2013-2014 season of the Superleague Greece, Campbell had nine assists, the second best record of the campaign, and the best of all the Olympiakos footballers, according to the league's website.

    During the group stage of Brazil 2014, Campbell had one assist when he sent Marco Urena a through ball for Costa Rica's third goal, as per Squawka.com.


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    Robert Cianflone/Getty Images

    One of the most valuable assets of the Costa Rica international is his strength.

    Joel Campbell suffered 10 tackles during the World Cup group stage and he kept the ball in eight of them. He also covered a total of 22,349 meters.

    There is no doubt Campbell can compete head-to-head with some of the toughest defenders in world football, just like he has done in Brazil.

    For instance, he faced Miguel Caceres, Diego Godin, Diego Lugano, Giorgio Chiellini and Andrea Barzagli in the past three games.

    With Olympiakos he passed through Nemanja Vidic, Phil Jones, Luisao, Ezequiel Garay and Maxwell during the UEFA Champions League.