'He is growing': Mikel Arteta says one Arsenal player is getting 'better and better', despite Burnley draw
Arsenal were frustrated this afternoon as Burnley held on for a big 0-0 draw in the capital to leave the Gunners and their boss, Mikel Arteta, left ruing a missed opportunity in the race for the top four.
The Gunners couldn’t quite break down a resilient Clarets side despite having plenty of ball and good opportunities to create in the final third. However, once again, there was a toothlessness to the Gunners and the need for a top striker was as evident as ever. Of course, as we know, Arsenal are keen to land Dusan Vlahovic this month.
However, despite the draw being a disappointing result for Arsenal, Arteta felt there was still some positives. And one of those positives he felt was the performance of young midfielder, Sambi Lokonga.
“I think he is growing, he is playing better and better. I think he had a really good game the other day against Liverpool, his understanding of the game, he is managing the physicality much better, he is maturing,” Arteta said after the game.
“It’s a lot to ask. When we signed him, the expectation that we had for him in the first year was to start adapting but he has had to play many more minutes than we expected and the kid is trying his best, and I think he’s doing pretty well.”
Lokonga was a summer signing and has been given ample opportunities this season already. The 22-year-old has already played 14 times this term, despite being signed as one for the future in the main.
TBR’s View: Lokonga Looking A Shrewd Arsenal Signing
It was easy to be critical of Arsenal today but in fairness to Arteta, his words on Lokonga are warranted. With so many midfielders out and Partey and Xhaka lacking discipline of late, Lokonga is having to step up to the plate.
Overally, he is doing well. Long-term, Lokonga should be a fine signing by Arsenal. If he can just add consistency and get that bit stronger, then the Gunners have a fine player on their hands.
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