Get Back: Will Sol Campbell's Return Bring the League Title to Arsenal?

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Get Back: Will Sol Campbell's Return Bring the League Title to Arsenal?

There is an old adage in football that a player, or manager for that matter, should never go back to a previous club.

Either Sol Campbell has never heard that piece of advice or he is turning a blind eye to it as he looks set to complete a sensational return to Arsenal, having played 45 minutes for their reserves in a 4-2 win against West Ham.

The former Tottenham and Portsmouth centre-back has been available on a free-transfer ever since fleeing the doomed "Notts County experiment" and finally being released from his contract in December.

This led to fierce speculation over his future, with big names such as Manchester United reportedly being interested, as well as what would have been an even more shocking move: returning to play in front of the Tottenham fans that had called him "Judas" ever since his 2001 transfer to North London rivals Arsenal.

But it seems now that Campbell will once again team up with Arsene Wenger to provide some much needed experience for Arsenal's talented young guns.

Whether Campbell will feature much during the rest of the season remains to be seen, although it's a safe bet that he'll do so more than he did at Notts County, but even if he doesn't, his aura around the training ground could make a big difference.

Parallels could be drawn between Campbell and Sami Hyypia, who Liverpool have undoubtedly missed since his summer transfer.

Both are towering, influential players who, while being past their best on the pitch, can still have a big impact behind the scenes.

That is not to totally overlook Campbell's on-field credentials. He is still a very capable player, a point demonstrated less than two years ago as he captained a Portsmouth side now battling relegation to FA Cup success.

He could also provide that vital extra depth to the defence, something Manchester United could do with at the moment, and is arguably better cover than the out-of-favour Phillipe Senderos.

The transfer could also have a psychological benefit too.

With Wenger currently being the only link left to the "Invincibles," the most successful era in the club's history, Campbell's second coming could grant the fans some hope that today's squad isn't so far away from that of 2004.

But the element that keeps cropping up which makes Campbell's signing such a shrewd one from "Le Professor" is the experience he brings.

He knows how to win the league having done it twice, and he knows what it takes to lift cup silverware too, winning the FA Cup three times in his career.

His big match temperament could also prove fundamental with the young crop Wenger has assembled.

Campbell has played, and scored in a Champions League final, as well as appearing for England in six consecutive major international tournaments, a feat no other English player has achieved.

Two years ago Arsenal capitulated while challenging for the title. Sol Campbell would help ensure such a thing wouldn't happen again.

So can Campbell help bring the Premier League title back to Arsenal?

His signature certainly doesn't guarantee success, but it makes it a lot more likely than if you don't have it.

And, as he is available on a free transfer, there is very little risk involved.

Who knows, Sol Campbell could finally help Arsenal put a piece of silverware in that big, empty Emirates Stadium trophy cabinet.

 

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