News broke yesterday that the highly-rated Costa Rican starlet Joel Campbell , who was set to complete his transfer to Arsenal following a medical, has pulled out of the transfer albeit temporarily.
There are rumours that the deal has been hijacked by one of the Manchester clubs. Both of them have been mentioned as having placed counter bids for Campbell following the impending transfer being made public.
The actions of Campbell are becoming a familiar and disturbing trend for Arsenal.
In this transfer window alone, Arsenal has been rejected by Phil Jones , amusingly by Sebastian Larsson , and also by Chris Smalling last year. The lure of Arsenal has always been there for young players. They know that they will get a chance to develop their game at the Emirates, and in Arsene Wenger they have a manager who is really sold out to the idea of inculcating the clubs value and evolving playing pattern to players from a young age. Perhaps there is no manager in the Premier League who has given as many opportunities for playing at the highest echelon of the English game as the Frenchman.
The stealth and predatory kind of transfer activity that Man City and Man United have recently resorted to another indication of the cutthroat practices that is prevalent in football.
Man City in particular are trying to win not only by buying quality players at prices others cannot afford, but they are also trying to strangle the opposition by enticing away talented young players that ethical clubs like Arsenal have spent quality time in scouting.
The bottom line of these actions is simply to deny the opposition the services of these players rather than any real need for them at City or any interest in the stellar development of the player’s career.
It is one thing for established stars to desire the outrageous wages that City are offering – after all the career of a footballer is relatively short – but it becomes quite disturbing when starlets just starting their profession start looking for money above the development of their game. For without a shadow of a doubt, clubs that try to buy success are the graveyard of young players’ vocations.
If Campbell wants to have a career that his talents deserve, then he will choose wisely and join Arsenal. But, if he allowed the attractions of filthy lucre to overcome him, then the young Costa Rican youth star will soon be mentioned in the same breath as Gael Kakuta .
Read more of Segun Owonikoko’s excellent articles at Gunnersphere