Joel Campbell’s offseason has included a disappointing performance at the Copa América and a litany of transfer rumors from his English club Arsenal. On Thursday night, Campbell was able to briefly overshadow those lows with a goal in Arsenal’s exhibition against the MLS All-Stars.
The 24-year-old forward converted on a penalty kick in the 11th minute to give the Gunners a 1-0 lead in the MLS All-Star game. But the real highlight came afterwards when Campbell, sporting his new mohawk, did a little shimmy for the cameras.
Campbell has said this offseason that he plans to remain in Arsenal, but coach Arsene Wegner has clearly never been the biggest fan of the Costa Rican forward. After severely limiting Campbell’s playing time despite his success when inserted into the lineup last season, Wegner was rumored to have advised Campbell to seek out other club options this offseason. La Sele’s star forward has been linked to a reunion with Spanish club Villarreal, who he played with in 2015 while on loan.
A penalty score in a friendly isn’t likely to convince Wegner that Campbell is deserving of more playing time, but it’s better than nothing. Campbell will have one last chance to impress in a Aug. 7 friendly against Manchester City before Arsenal opens the English Premier regular season the following week against Liverpool.
Fellow Costa Rican national Kendall Waston was voted onto the MLS All-Star squad, although he was not among the starting 11 on Thursday. The big defender that plays for the Vancouver WhiteCaps is generally regarded as one of the more effective defensemen in the MLS and has been a mainstay for La Sele in the past year.