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DJ Campbell: Enigma

A lot has been written about DJ Campbell in the last three years.

Before we go on, a lot of negative opinion has been written by myself on this very site about the striker, all of which has been justified and warranted up to this point.

More recently internet forums have been flooded with discussions on the subject of the forward - will he, or won't he leave this summer? Do we even want him?

It's fair to say that opinions are divided. Some believe he is the goal-scorer we need to help us get out of this division following his impressive exploits with promoted Blackpool, not only last season but the one prior to it too.

Then are those who believe he has out-stayed his welcome, taken far too much money off of us and does not warrant another opportunity.

Stubborn he has certainly been in the past, all boiling down to some obscene wages his agent is still wetting himself over.

In a nutshell he's been out of favour with almost every manager since his arrival, not helped with a mixture of injuries and an allegedly questionable attitude.

The opportunity to make a permanent move to Blackpool prior to their promotion was on the table, but the Seasiders could not match the striker's wage demands. Unsurprising given the fact he remains City's highest-paid player.

It's been somewhat of a roundabout experience to date. For the player we were not so long back happy to accept next to nothing for just to offload him off the wage bill, a fee of 1.5 million was requested at the beginning of the summer.

But do we even want to offload him anymore? Campbell certainly appears to be a firm part of new manager Paulo Sousa's plans, highlighted by three consecutive starts in pre-season so far.

And with a return of three goals thus far in said matches, is DJ Campbell finally attempting to prove his worth at this club?

I've been a sceptic since an early time on the former-Birmingham man, and I'm happy to admit that. I still am in many ways.

But after watching Campbell's performance in pre-season at Rotherham yesterday evening, I am beginning to ponder the idea that maybe he does deserve another chance. But the point I have also stressed all along is that he should only get it if he really wants it.

Was last night a message that he wants to put this right? Or was it simply an attractive showing for potential suitors? Either way, if DJ Campbell shows effort and sharpness like that I would accept him in a Leicester City shirt once more.

Not only was he quite comfortably the best player on the pitch, he showed a work rate which was hugely refreshing for a player supposedly keen to leave this club.

That's the botom line really. If DJ Campbell genuinely wants to fight for his place at this club then there is no way anybody can criticise.

We've seen nowhere near enough from him in his time at the Walkers so far, hopefully he himself knows that, but with a year left on his contract he can put that right.

Blackpool will almost undoubtedly come back for him this summer. This is of course the Premier League side who will feature Francis Jeffers in their pre-season lineup. God help them. But would we accept? A new-look Campbell could be the 'new signing' we need this summer to replace Martyn Waghorn up front.

I should stress that I'm not totally convinced on the matter and there is still a lot left to occur I'm sure, but the early signs are certainly promising.




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The Journalist

Writer: JBFox Mail feedback, articles or suggestions

Date:Wednesday July 21 2010

Time: 6:00PM

 

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