Albert Sambi Lokonga has credited former manager Vincent Kompany for his role in the transfer to Arsenal.
Albert Sambi Lokonga’s name was hardly heard in England before his move to Arsenal in the summer. The midfielder was the captain of Anderlecht last season under the guidance of Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany. The Belgian’s display attracted the Gunners to sign him this summer to begin their rebuild project.
Lokonga was instantly playing games in north London due to the absences of Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey early on in the season. Despite Arsenal’s dismal start to their season, Lokonga found game time easy to come by after Xhaka got suspended for three games.
The midfielder has played in six games in all competitions and looks promising enough for Arteta’s liking. The Belgian will likely get more starts after Xhaka was ruled out for nearly three months with a knee injury. He has shown adaptability in Arsenal’s midfield and looks at home with fellow midfielders such as Partey or Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Moreover, his bold playing style has impressed those watching on from the stands, with many calling for the manager to give him more starts in games.
Lokonga has given huge credit to former manager and Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany for his move to Arsenal. While praising the former defender for his role, the Belgian also compared his bosses in style and personality. Daily Star published the following quotes from the midfielder.
On Kompany’s role in the transfer, Sambi said, “We had a great relationship, Vinnie and me. He had some players of which he asked for more, and I was one of them. In matches, I knew I could not afford to be at the same level as the others. He wanted me always to do more, to carry the team both on the pitch and off it.
“It is thanks to him that I got this transfer. He never let me rest, and without him, I would not have progressed so much.”
Further, when asked to compare both Kompany and Arteta as managers, Lokonga said: “In real life, it’s not exactly the same style of coach. Of course, there are a lot of similarities in substance. There is the will to find the free man, to function with short and quick combinations.
“There is also this desire to insist on the smallest details and then, more generally, what their playing philosophy. However, in the form and the manner of putting it in place, it is very different. Arteta is closer to his group. He participates in small training games, for example, where Vinnie kept more distance. This is in no way a reproach, just an observation.”