The Frenchman has all the time in the world for his former defender and believes Campbell can carry on at the top level as long as he retains his hunger for football.
"I tried to keep Sol," reflected Wenger to arsenal.com. "It was more a question of proposals but I wanted to keep him, personally. But he was free and he has chosen to go for a different challenge - I respect that.
"I respect Sol highly because last year when we had a difficult patch he was completely committed and he was our best player in some games. I will always respect him for the help he brought to us last year.
"[He can carry on at the top] as long as he has the needed motivation because Sol is a player who needs to work very hard to be sharp physically and it is not easy because when you get older you have to push yourself.
"But Sol is a fantastic battler and when he has got in his mind that 'I want this battle' then he will do it. As long as he can do that then he can play on because he has basic physical qualities because he is strong and quick.
"But how much does he want to? You should ask him that question."