Albert Sambi Lokonga gets Kevin de Bruyne comparison as brother responds to summer transfer claims

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Albert-Sambi Lokongka, Arsenal midfielder, in action against Tottenham during the Pre-season Friendly (The Mind Series) Credit: PA Images
Albert-Sambi Lokongka, Arsenal midfielder, in action against Tottenham during the Pre-season Friendly (The Mind Series) Credit: PA Images

Albert Sambi Lokonga is in no hurry to leave Arsenal this season, despite struggling for minutes and seemingly failing to impress Mikel Arteta.

The Belgium international midfielder moved to Emirates Stadium last summer in a £15.75m deal from Anderlecht. Viewed as one of his country’s brightest prospects, Lokonga earned his first senior cap for his country shortly after his move.

And he quickly became a regular in the Arsenal squad too, making 15 appearances in the first three months on the season.

However, his game-time quickly began to wane and he has now made just 24 appearances in all competitions this season.

And having picked up five yellow cards in just 12 Premier League starts, it seems Arteta has been right to take him out of the first-team picture.

As such, reports have emerged that the player is considering his future at Emirates Stadium.

Furthermore, Mohamed Elneny came in from the cold as his replacement and now looks likely to earn a new deal. In addition, Arteta is reportedly seeking more quality arrivals in central midfield as he looks to further strengthen his ranks.

To that end, reports are liking the Gunners with Arthur Melo and Youri Tielemans. A deal for the latter though may be halted over their likely Champions League miss.

Despite his faltering year at Arsenal, Lokonga appears happy with his progress.

Lokonga happy with Arsenal progress

And his brother, speaking to RTBF, insists he has no intention of requesting a move elsewhere.

“We’re not worried,” he said.

“Other players like Kevin De Bruyne or Romelu Lukaku have also taken time to establish themselves in the Premier League. The difference with the Belgian league is big, and Arsenal is not a mid-table club.

“We would have signed with both hands for a first season with 33% of playing time. And Albert is improving every day, especially in training.

“But the competition is tough in the team, with boys like Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka or Mohamed Elneny. And the coach must respect a certain hierarchy.

“He has so much talent; sometimes it seems so easy for him that maybe the coach expects more from him? He shouldn’t rest on his abilities. And maybe he needs to show more in training. I’m not worried, and neither is he.

“It’s (a transfer) out of the question, at least for him. He is very well integrated into the club and the city, he is happy, although he hopes to play more next season, and his potential would deserve it.

“And there will be European games. I talked to him on the phone on Monday; he was disappointed because, with the defeat in Newcastle, the Champions League has moved away. But there will be the Europa League, and he is positive about his season.”

Player may need to stay patient

His brother speaks well and it’s refreshing to see a player content with his lot, rather than rocking the boat.

The approach to the midfield hierarchy is an astute one too; Arteta has his preference and Lokonga clearly knows where he fits in the Arsenal pecking order.

Obviously, this will have to be monitored carefully by the midfielder. Another player added to that list may well see the Belgian pushed further down the rankings.

And with the World Cup just a matter of months away, he will be aware of his need to get more regular action. As it stands, Lokonga would probably not quite make a 23-man cut for the Belgium squad.

Indeed, he may need to bide his time to get more game time for the Gunners.

However, the fact he’s appeared in 33% of their games is a good starting point for Arsenal.

And he will no doubt use that as a yardstick going forwards, especially with the added games coming their way thanks to European competition.

The Gunners, meanwhile, have seen plans to sign a top target take a backwards step in the wake of their likely Champions League miss.

The article Albert Sambi Lokonga gets Kevin de Bruyne comparison as brother responds to summer transfer claims appeared first on Teamtalk.com.

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