In-form Villarreal spurred by Campbell capture

"Joel Campbell will contribute a lot," said Villarreal CF coach Marcelino after securing the Arsenal FC forward on loan following a landmark weekend win.

Joel Campbell (left) in action for Arsenal
Joel Campbell (left) in action for Arsenal ©Getty Images

Villarreal CF are hoping Joel Campbell can spur them to further success on the domestic and European fronts after taking the Arsenal FC forward on loan following a landmark win at the weekend.

Fresh from posting their second-highest points tally at the halfway stage of a Liga season, the Yellow Submarine downed Levante UD 1-0 on Saturday to go a club-record 17 games unbeaten in all competitions. Luciano Vietto hit the winner for the sixth-placed side, who now add Costa Rican international Campbell to their ranks for the rest of the campaign.

"Joel Campbell will contribute a lot of things to us: versatility, because he can play various positions in attack, individual skill and the ability to turn games," said coach Marcelino of the 22-year-old, who mustered two goals in 28 appearances for Real Betis Balompié during a loan spell in 2012/13.

Campbell's arrival comes at just the right time for Villarreal, with the team 90 minutes away from reaching the Copa del Rey semi-finals – on Thursday they defend a 1-0 first-leg lead at Getafe CF – and pushing for a top-four spot in the Liga. They also face a UEFA Europa League round of 32 tie against FC Salzburg next month, so Saturday's victory has boosted confidence for the challenges ahead.

Villarreal captain Bruno Soriano (centre)
Villarreal captain Bruno Soriano (centre)©AFP

"It wasn't our day [against Levante] when it came to taking our chances, but we got the three points which allow us to continue on this extraordinary run," said Marcelino. "What's more, we managed to keep a clean sheet in front of our own fans yet again."

Widely admired for their dynamic attacking football this term, Marcelino's troops were not their usual explosive selves without suspended forward Denis Cheryshev, but once again their sturdy defence saw them through. Indeed, Villarreal's back line have been instrumental in their record sequence: they have conceded just ten goals in those 17 matches, and have kept seven consecutive clean sheets at El Madrigal.

Campbell will be eager to play a part as Villarreal continue their push in three competitions – a test captain Bruno Soriano feels they are up to. "Behind this run, there is a lot of hard work and the team have to keep going," he explained. "The coach keeps telling us that we should never tire of winning – that's the philosophy of this club, and the players need to embody it."