When Mikel Arteta and Edu bought a raft of promising youngsters the summer before last, it was a little bit hopeful that every single on of them would settle quickly and be able to handle the intensity of the Premier League. There were two players that started promisingly but then seemed to go off the boil and were unhappy at not being first-choice and playing every week.
The first one was the left-back Nuno Tavares, who was so unhappy he was sent out on loan this seson to Marseille, and he was unhappy that Arsenal refused to include an option to buy in the deal.
Now it appears that Albert Sambi Lokonga, who made a total of 12 starts last season, was in exactly the same situation as Tavares, and he has now admitted he was seriously considering asking to be allowed to leave. He said in the Standard: ‘Honestly, it’s difficult. I’m at one of the best clubs in England. I could have played somewhere else every weekend, but that wouldn’t have been the right solution for me.
‘It’s a personal decision [to stay at Arsenal]. I wanted to give myself another year to stay at Arsenal and then see what happens,’
‘At the end of last season, I almost snapped,’ he added. ‘I called my agent to ask him if staying at Arsenal was a good idea. He comforted me in my choice, even though I know I need to start more often to develop.’
Personally I think that Lokonga would have been allowed to go on loan if we already had extra midfielders in the squad, but without any new arrivals in his position, it was imperative he stayed. He is only young and should accept that he still has a lot of learn, and controlling your emotions is one of those lessons.
Work hard and you will get your chance.
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