Arsenal confirmed today that the club has agreed on a deal to bring 19-year old Costa Rican Joel Campbell to the Emirates for an undisclosed fee (what this means as far as when he will actually sign a contract: who knows). Campbell has six caps for Costa Rica, scoring twice in his matches this summer for the senior squad. He has not featured very often (only four times) for his old club Deportivo Saprissa, and he spent time on loan at Puntarenas, making three appearances.
Arsène Wenger had the following to say about Campbell on the club's official website:
Arsenal Manager Arsène Wenger said: “Joel Campbell has already shown that he is a player with great ability, and has also performed well on the international stage at a young age. We look forward to the formalities of the transfer being completed and working with Joel when he joins us at Arsenal."
There is some discussion on the internet right now about Campbell needing a work permit;
his grandfather was Irish, but that does not seem to have settled the issue UPDATE: it appears this is not actually true, so no word on any work permit yet. The club has not clarified Campbell's employment status as of yet. And although the fee is undisclosed, Young Guns (who are generally very reliable), posted as follows a few minutes ago:
Arsenal will be paying £930,000 for Joel Campbell, rising to just over £1 million, if certain variable bonuses are met.
If Campbell can get a work permit, hopefully he can get some playing time this year in an Arsenal strike force that's looking pretty thin (unless Marouane Chamakh can get some confidence back). Of course, he may go out on loan, in which case that's a moot point, but clearly, he's mainly a signing with an eye on the future.