Albert Sambi Lokonga made his debut for Arsenal at the weekend, with the Belgian midfielder playing 45 minutes in the Gunners’ pre-season win against Millwall.
Lokonga, who was signed from Anderlecht for around £18million earlier this month, came on at half-time in the friendly as Mikel Arteta’s side prepare for their season opener against Brentford in under three weeks’ time.
The 21-year-old was Arsenal ‘s second signing of the summer after Nuno Tavares arrived from Benfica not long before.
When the former Anderlecht star made his debut for the Gunners, he came onto a pitch alongside Nicolas Pepe, Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang and Alexandre Lacazette – and has admitted they are three out of the four players he is most looking forward to playing alongside in the future.
The other is Bukayo Saka, who is still recovering from his summer exploits with England as the Three Lions reached the Euro 2020 final where they were beaten by Italy.
“I think Pepe [is the one I am most excited to link up with],” Lokonga told Arsenal’s official website.
“But I’m also looking forward to playing with Aubameyang, Lacazette, Saka also, so yeah, I hope to have a connection with all the players and quickly.”
The Belgium international continued his interview with the club by speaking about players he looks up to and models his game on, but admits he is hoping to blaze a trail for himself.
“I never wanted to be like a player, I always wanted to be Sambi, so I took a little bit of all the players I used to watch,” Lokonga added.
“I never said to myself that you need to be like this player, I always wanted to be Sambi and to do Sambi on the pitch.
“If I had to tell you some players, I will say Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Modric, yeah, all the top players, Marco Verratti as well. All the top players.”
With Tavares and Lokonga already at the north London club following Edu’s busy summer, the Arsenal technical director will be hopeful of securing a few more before the 2021/22 season kicks off next month.
Ben White will undergo a medical later this week after a £50million fee was agreed with Brighton recently, while the Gunners remain in talks with Sheffield United over a move for their goalkeeper Aaron Ramsdale.
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Source by Football London