Mikel Arteta issues response to Albert Sambi Lokonga complaints over lack of Arsenal opportunities

Mikel Arteta issues response to Albert Sambi Lokonga complaints over lack of Arsenal opportunities

Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta has told Albert Sambi Lokonga to do his talking on the pitch and has challenged the midfielder to prove why he should get more minutes.

Lokonga revealed last week in an interview with Belgian newspaper La Derniere Heure that he was frustrated at Arsenal over a lack of opportunities.

“At the end of last season, I almost snapped. I called my agent to ask him if staying at Arsenal was a good idea,” he said.

In the wake of Lokonga’s comments, Arteta was asked last night how he keeps players happy, to which he said: “Play them and then let them speak on the pitch. The best way.”

Lokonga has had more minutes this season, starting two Premier League games and all of Arsenal’s Europa League matches so far.

The Belgian is expected to again start tonight against PSV Eindhoven, with Arsenal needing a point to guarantee finishing top of their Europa League group, which would secure a bye to the last-16.

Lokonga has seen more action this season, but in the summer Arsenal did try to bring in another midfielder.

The club had multiple bids rejected for Aston Villa’s Douglas Luiz on transfer deadline day and Arteta last night refused to rule out trying to sign a midfielder in January.

Asked if Lokonga had done enough to convince him that Arsenal don’t need a midfielder in January, Arteta said: “We’ll see more, and he has to prove that what he’s asking for he can produce on the pitch.

“We’re looking for every single player to raise their level and get the right competition in the team, and when you play and perform in a way that we win and play well enough to win games.”