Albert Sambi Lokonga has enjoyed the last two months that saw him leave Anderlecht for Arsenal in the summer, start for the Gunners in the Premier League and then make his debut for Belgium a week ago.
The midfielder came off the bench against Estonia, but was left out of the squad for the World Cup qualifier against Czech Republic and the same was repeated for the clash against Belarus on Wednesday.
Belgium manager Roberto Martínez has now confirmed the reason for the absence of the Gunners summer signing for the latest tie, and made it clear there was no sporting reason behind it.
“Regarding Sambi, it is not a sporting choice. There was a small warning, I would not speak of injury, but of discomfort, in training,” the ex-Everton coach was quoted as saying by Walfoot.
“So we decided not to take any risk given the complicated conditions. It was not a sporadic decision on my part.”
Despite Martínez’s comments, the website states there’s ‘nothing serious’ and the 21-year-old should make himself available to Mikel Arteta on his return to Arsenal.
Lokonga started the Gunners’ first two league defeats against Brentford and Chelsea, while he had to settle for a place on the bench against Manchester City and West Bromwich Albion [in the EFL Cup].