By Declan Taylor

Sol Campbell's five-year spell at Arsenal was "never easy" according to Arsène Wenger.

Campbell controversially signed for the Gunners on a free transfer from arch-rivals Tottenham in 2001. The centre-back quickly became the cornerstone of Arsenal's defence helping them to a League and Cup double in his first season, then FA Cup success in 2005.

Campbell's last game in the red-and-white was the 2006 Champions League Final when he became one of only five Englishman to score on the occasion. It was an ultimately unhappy occasion however, as Barcelona struck twice in the last 13 minutes to secure the trophy.

The 34-year-old is likely to feature for Portsmouth on Saturday and his name cropped up at Friday's pre-match press conference. Wenger explained how Campbell's North-London switch made Highbury life hard for the defender.

"It was always difficult for him mentally when he left Tottenham," the manager said. "It was never an easy time for him at Arsenal.

"It was his decision to leave, not mine, he wanted to leave the country.

"At the end of the day he was at the turning point when he left us. He decided to stay in the country but he's a winner and he will work hard and we will see that tomorrow."

Copyright 2014 The Arsenal Football Club plc. Permission to use quotations from this article is granted subject to appropriate credit being given to www.arsenal.com as the source 1 May 2009