Arsene Wenger bringing back former Gunners favourite to the Emirates.
Sol Campbell is set to complete a surprise return to Arsenal in the next few days after he played 45 minutes for their reserves against West Ham.
The 35-year-old former England defender has been a free agent since being released from his contract with League Two side Notts County in December.
The club have said he played in the 4-2 win “with a view to a permanent move back to Arsenal Football Club”.
Campbell played only one game for Notts County after leaving Portsmouth.
The former Tottenham and Portsmouth defender joined County – with the involvement of ex-England boss Sven-Goran Eriksson a key factor in persuading him to drop down to League Two – in August, but left less than a month into a five-year deal.
But after being strongly linked with a move to Championship leaders Newcastle, Campbell now seems set for a return to the club where he won two Premier League titles.
Campbell played only the first half of the reserve match before being replaced by Ignasi Miquel as he eased himself back into competitive football; there was no suggestion he was injured.
Campbell, who was capped 73 times by England and played at two World Cups, was keen to resume his career as quickly as possible after settling his contract dispute with County.
It is understood offers were also on the table from Hull and Newcastle, but Arsenal were always Campbell’s first choice and he is still held in high regard by manager Arsene Wenger.
“He has a fantastic attitude and good fitness,” said Wenger last week. (BBC Sport)
This is a shocking piece of news but could well turn out to be a very intelligent bit of business by Arsenal. The Gunners have been needlessly leaky at the back this term and having an experienced head around might help steady things at the back but one would imagine that Sol Campbell would only be a bit part player at the Emirates as Wenger continues to use first choice centre back pairing of William Gallas and Thomas Vermaelen.
The 34 year old may well be no spring chicken but given that the former Tottenham man played most of last season at Portsmouth he is clearly well able to cope with the physical demands of playing in the top tier and his short spell at Notts County may be best forgotten and Wenger has clearly decided that whilst he doesn’t like to sign up players over 30 years of age that bringing back Campbell was a no-brainer.
He is rumoured to be close to signing a short term deal at the north London side up until the end of the season with a view to another year long contract being offered to the England international in the summer. Obviously Sol will also be available for Champions League action as he hasn’t represented any team in the competition this term and that fact may well have been another reason the Gunners boss has decided to re-sign Campbell.
Some Arsenal fans may query the signing but I think most will welcome their former hero back with open arms and will be hoping that his arrival will help the club end their barren run without silverware.