Joel Campbell has revealed the advice of Arsenal teammate Santi Cazorla helped him decide to leave the Emirates Stadium during the current transfer window for a loan move to Villarreal.
Even though Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger insisted he wanted the Costa Rica international to stay at the north London club until the end of the season, he allowed him to join the La Liga side until the summer as part of the deal that saw centre-back Gabriel Paulista move in the other direction on a permanent basis.
David Moyes's side Real Sociedad also tried to secure his services on loan but during his presentation as a Villarreal player, Campbell claimed Cazorla's advice persuaded him to move to Marcelino Garcia Toral's side instead. The Spaniard has history with the club, where he enjoyed playing alongside Arsenal legend Robert Pires.
"I am very excited about my arrival to Villarreal and eager to start this new stage of my sporting career. Everyone knows that Villarreal are a great club. Many people have spoken to me very well about the club and the first one was Santi Cazorla, who help me to decide to come here," Campbell said, according to Villarreal's official website.
Campbell, who made his debut at Villarreal as a starter during the Copa del Rey quarter-final victory over Getafe, added: "Cazorla is a great player; he told me that how I'd find the club and that Villarreal is one big family."
After a loan spell at Olympiakos last season, Wenger opted to bring the striker back to the Emirates Stadium during the summer following his impressive showing at the World Cup, helping Costa Rica reach the last 16 phase.
However, the 22-year-old has failed to make a single start in the Premier League for the Gunners this season and has decided to look for more playing time elsewhere.
"For my style, I think I can adapt very well to this team. I come to Villarreal with the intention to help the club in anything I can and to secure playing time," Campbell said.
"I'm very happy to be here and playing in the Spanish league, it's a great chance for me to perform well in the second half of the season. I'm ready to do whatever the coach needs from me and am anxious to be part of the club achieving its objectives."
Nevertheless, Wenger believes the striker has a big future ahead of him at the north London club as, prior to his move to Villarreal, Campbell signed a contract extension at Arsenal.