Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger believes Joel Campbell can have an important role to play in midfield and up front in the coming months as the club contend with a string of injuries. Speaking at press conference on Friday 30 October, Wenger confirmed that Alex Oxlade-Chamberlain is likely to return to fitness before Theo Walcott, but does not expect either to return before November's international break.
Both players were injury victims in the Gunners' 3-0 defeat to Sheffield Wednesday in the Capital One Cup. Oxlade-Chamberlain was forced off with a hamstring problem early on in the contest, with his replacement Walcott soon following with a calf problem.
"One will be 20 days, the other a bit longer. But we have shown we can deal with injuries," Wenger told reporters. The loss of Oxlade-Chamberlain, with Aaron Ramsey also absent after suffering a knock in the victory over Bayern Munich, leaves a space on the right to be filled for Saturday 31 October's trip to Swansea City. With Wenger reluctant to move Santi Cazorla from the centre of midfield where he has become so influential, the Gunners boss says Campbell could have his chance.
"I can play with Campbell or another midfielder. I have another 24 hours to make that decision." On Campbell, Wenger added he could even use the Costa Rica international up front in Walcott's absence. "I have been very impressed with him," Wenger said. "His desire to improve has been fantastic. He can play centre-forward as well. I think he can be a big help in the next two or three months."
Arsenal now have an eight-man injury list that also includes goalkeeper David Ospina, Aaron Ramsey, Jack Wilshere, Danny Welbeck, Tomas Rosicky and Mikel Arteta. "We will find solutions and I have to find the right one. Let's play tomorrow. I trust my medical and coaching staff to do well. We are very well-organised on that front."