Ask any Arsenal fan what they need this summer and the majority would reel off a list of players they’d like to see brought into the squad.
But enticing Luis Campos to the club? Well, that would hands down be their most significant bit of recruitment.
For years, the Gunners have been travelling in the wrong direction and their steady decline has seen them miss out on European qualification for the 2021/22 campaign. It’ll be the first time in 26 seasons the north London giants will not be competing on the continental stage and you can understand the unrest among the supporters.
The club’s success in the early Arsene Wenger years was built largely on identifying raw talent, the subsequent low-risk recruitment and the ability of the manager to nurture those players into becoming some of world football’s biggest stars.
It allowed the Gunners to compete with Manchester United throughout the late 1990s and early 2000s, go a season unbeaten, win league titles, multiple FA Cups and reach a Champions League final.
But somewhere along the line, Arsenal lost their way.
However, a series of bad decisions and the failure to protect themselves contractually against losing their best players for low fees or in some cases nothing have played a part in the club’s current predicament.
Failure to qualify for the Champions League has seen Arsenal miss out on a revenue stream on which they’d become reliant and now more than ever they need to be efficient in the transfer market. Luis Campos has a track record of identifying top talents prior to their big break and has shown himself, particularly during his time in France, to be an expert negotiator.
After all, he was instrumental in forcing Arsenal to pay £72m for Nicolas Pepe. As well as being a top recruiter, he’s a brilliant salesman and can be trusted to get the maximum value for any assets the Gunners may wish to move on in the future.
Campos has been credited with launching the careers of Bernardo Silva, Anthony Martial and Kylian Mbappe to name a few. According to Football London, the north Londoners are hoping to work with him on an informal basis, specifically on player recruitment, meaning he won’t be replacing technical director Edu.
Real Madrid are also interested in the 56-year-old and so landing him will take some doing. However, if the talented but inexperienced duo of Mikel Arteta and Edu could draw on the proven Campos’ experience and prevent making some of the mistakes they otherwise might, Arsenal’s rebuild could be significantly accelerated.