Arsenal forward Joel Campbell has picked a jinxed squad number after completing his loan move to Sporting Lisbon.

The 24-year-old joined the Portuguese giants on Sunday and opted for the No.7 shirt. Sporting boss Jorge Jesus is a big fan of Campbell having also tried to sign him when he was in charge at Benfica.

Since Luis Figo’s exit to Barcelona in 1995, a host of players have endured difficult spells with the number on their back so Sporting fans will be hoping Campbell is a success.

Costa Rica international Campbell is the 10th player to occupy No.7 since Figo left and that includes a four-year spell between 2003 and 2007 when nobody wanted the jersey

A number of players in the 1990s struggled under the pressure of succeeding Figo while recent wearers such as former Manchester City striker Valeri Bojinov, Egypt star Shikabala and Barca recruit Jeffren Suarez flopped.

One despairing fan commented: “Someone has to break the jinx.”

Campbell links up with international team-mate and former Fulham forward Bryan Ruiz at Sporting and his pal helped persuade him to make the move.

He said: “I am here to win the league! I want to pay back the confidence people have shown in me.

“Of course, I spoke with Bryan Ruiz, who told me a lot of good things about the club, but it was the support of the president and coach that made me take this decision.

“I will work as hard as I can and results will speak for themselves.

“I know what I can do and I hope everything goes well here.”

The 24-year-old made 30 appearances for the Gunners last season but fell out of favour following the emergence of Alex Iwobi in the second half of the campaign.


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