One of the surprises of Arsenal’s season so far, Albert Sambi Lokonga has grasped the chance given to him by Mikel Arteta with both hands and not let go.
The young Belgian is quickly becoming a staple at the Emirates, and his performances haven’t exactly suggested he wants to be dropped anytime soon, keen to continue to showcase his talent at the highest level.
It’s earned him so recognition in his home country as well, getting his first cap for Belgium this season, but the player hasn’t forgotten the club that’s made him, which is Anderlecht.
Faced with a lot of criticism this campaign, the Jupiler Pro League club and Vincent Kompany find themselves sixth in the table after 15 games, already 12 points off surprise leaders Union Saint-Gilloise.
For Lokonga, who was interviewed by RTBF at the weekend, seeing his former club struggle as much as been hard, as has been the vitriol from the press and fans.
He said: “It gives me heartache to see the Sporting like that, and Vinnie criticised, but it was already like that when I was there: it wasn’t easy, we were criticised, but people like to criticise. Anderlecht always gets attention. Then, we saw what we were capable of at the end of the season, and no one expected us to be so well placed. You just needed to trust Vinnie and allow him the time to put his game in place”.
Changing their squad around a fair bit again in the summer, it’s this constant movement that led Lokonga to seek a move to Arsenal, who explained he ‘wasn’t ready to wait and start all over again’.
That being said, the Gunners starlet still believes Kompany is the right man for the job, and urges those at and around the club to keep believing in what the former Manchester City player is trying to do.