Podolski Loan Indicates Faith in Joel Campbell
Lukas Podolski, and the will he go won't he go chapter in his time at Arsenal, has finally come to an end after Arsene Wenger confirmed his loan deal to Inter Milan has been completed.
Turning the page on this saga of blather is a welcome relief.
The German World Cup winner has hardly featured for Arsenal in much of the past two seasons.
To his credit, when given the opportunity, Podolski has been extremely efficient in taking his chances in front of goal, notably in the Champions League, where he has scored 3 goals in just 129 minutes this season, something Roberto Mancini will be well aware of, but far too often, Wenger has been disappointed by his lack of desire to work for the team, his training, focus and preparation, and one would guess, his alarming infatuation with selfies.
Mancini is no stranger to dealing with personalities so perhaps the two are destined to make sweet hashtag music on and off the pitch.
The loan deal is a positive for all involved, not least Joel Campbell.
The Costa Rican, who likes to operate in similar spaces as Podolski, was given 90 minutes in Sunday's FA Cup victory over Hull City, and although the young member of the Ticos failed to shine, and looked of two-minds and lacking self-belief at critical times, Campbell is a player of great potential who should be given a genuine chance at the Emirates.
No one at Arsenal should overlook the magnificent effort Cambell turned in during the Finals in Brazil; full of pace, strength, guile, and goals from both feet that electrified the crowds in South America. It was a memorable 2014 for the Costa Rican, and no Arsenal fan, or the manager himself, will forget the majestic goal scored against Manchester United in the Champions League while on loan at Olympiacos.
Yet Campbell's first-team chances at Arsenal this season have been surprisingly few and far between up to this stage.
There were a number of match days when the injury plagued Gunners could have done with his services but he was not selected or even on the team sheet.
That may be set to change now that Podolski has been moved on.
Rumors of Campbell himself being loaned out have subsided somewhat recently, although today was a big audition, as the player was clearly on trial for both manager and other January suitors. However, loan talk around Hornsey Road as of late has focused on Yaya Sanogo, and rightly so, as the young Frenchman most often resembles a giraffe in roller skates out on the pitch. Talk of Sanogo going to another Premier League outfit, and Podolski's exit, seem to indicate that Wenger has reaffirmed his faith in Joel Campbell.
This should come as welcome news to fans of Dial Square, as once Campbell rediscovers his confidence, his inherent talent has no ceiling.
With his powerful frame, quick acceleration, direct drive, and ball striking ability Campbell is perfectly suited for the BPL; his footballing DNA closely resembles the talented Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain, but with the Costa Rican favoring his left-peg whereas Ox is primarily right-footed.
The notion of watching these two players mature in the same side is something that Wenger cannot let slip away.
Campbell should not be used as bait for William Carvalho.
Wenger must recall the memories of the 19 year-old Campbell who caught his eye in the first place, and just how far he has truly come; with Podolski moving on, it appears that may be the case, as Wenger's crisis of confidence in the youngster could finally be over...