New signing admits he didn’t expect what has happened to him at Arsenal

Albert Sambi Lokonga has revealed that he didn’t expect to get into the Arsenal first-team so fast.

The Belgian moved to the Emirates in the summer and had been expected to be a backup at Arsenal.

It would even have been understandable if they had farmed him out on loan for the rest of this season.

However, Mikel Arteta put him into action straightaway in the team and he hasn’t been disappointed so far.

His current run of form means he could be in the first team lineup for a long time and he recently discussed his start to life at the Emirates.

He said to RTBF: “Yes, it’s gone a bit quicker than anticipated, but I was well prepared on physically, mentally and on a football level. I don’t want to say that I had the required qualities but apparently they suit the manager? I’m fighting for my spot, I play games and I’m getting minutes. I’m very happy. I made the right choice, but I already knew that”.

Sambi Lokonga’s progress is further proof that Arteta would give chances to any player that shows he has what it takes to play for the team.

The likes of Gabriel Martinelli have struggled to get playing time this season, they can follow the lead of the Belgian midfielder to get back in favour.

Sambi Lokonga will become even more important at Arsenal in the new year when Mohamed Elneny and Thomas Partey are away at AFCON.

He did well when he was paired with Ainsley Maitland-Niles in Arsenal’s last league game against Watford and they could be the midfield partnership of the future for the club.

Tags Albert Sambi Lokonga


  1. just another reason why Xhaka’s injury has been such a blessing in disguise…the fact that Lokonga has been afforded the luxury of facing EL lineups week in and week out is an incredible bonus, developmentally-speaking, for the club both presently and moving forward

    1. It seems to take injuries for these players to get in but ESR, Lakonga, Tavares and now AMN, have all proved good enough to be trusted and all have massive improvement in them. Xhaka i hope doesn’t get back in, we should have sold him last summer because he slows the whole process down and Lakonga is way better than him as well as AMN.

    2. TRVL, True that Xhakas injury has DEFINITELY been a blessing to our teams fortunes. But, IMO, in no way a disguise at all.
      Though I never wish an injury on any player, as all are human and so injuries distress them, I have prayed every week since his start that XHAKA WILL NOT PLAY.
      I have though simply wanted him dropped and, far better still, sold ASAP, RATHER THAN INJURED.
      I still crave his sale, asap!

  2. Who is better, lokonga or guendouzi?

    I think both have different abilities but it’s a difficult question IMO.

  3. Without the AFCON, we have Partey, ASL, AMN and Elneny in the midfield positions. I only hope Xhaka is made as a back up to them when he returns. He slows the game down, is error prone and commits fouls in crucial areas leading to goal scoring chances for the opposition.

    1. I hope you don’t make mistakes in life. Because even Partey and Sambi made an error each against palace that lead to the two goals we conced. But well, you won’t remember that because neither is Xhaka.

  4. Will pick Lokonga over MG any day. Bad attitude will always destroy you. No wonder GD is a friend of Ozil. We don’t need such people in the Arsenal team

  5. Still a lot of clean up to do at Arsenal. Arteta should get rid of:


    Get a new striker and send Flora on loan
    Bring in Saliba
    Buy a new young RB to support Tommy

    1. Nathan Patterson of Rangers is a talented RB who I mentioned 12 months ago and is now beginning to blossom in the Scottish National team, which is doing very well.

  6. As for Lokonga, I think he is going to be a terrific central midfielder.Watched Sakaria against Italy last night.He was pretty impressive in a side which did not seem to miss Xhaka, and they deserved the draw .

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