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'It was not a sporting decision': Manager details why £17.2m Arsenal star didn't play last night

Belgium manager Roberto Martinez has explained that Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga didn’t play last night due to a small injury.

Speaking to Walfoot, the former Everton boss revealed that Lokonga suffered an injury that kept him out of last night’s clash against Belarus. However, the midfielder will be fine to feature for Arsenal this weekend against Norwich City.

Lokonga made his debut for Belgium this international break with the midfielder impressing for the Red Devils. Despite a poor start to the season for club, the 21-year-old prospect has been a rare bright spark for Arsenal.

TALLINN, ESTONIA – SEPTEMBER 02 : Albert Sambi Lokonga midfielder of Belgium during the European Qualifying World Cup Qatar 2022 group E match between Estonia and Belgium on September 2, 2021 in Tallinn, Estonia, 2/09/2021 ( Photo by Philippe Crochet / Photonews via Getty Images)

The former R.S.C. Anderlecht captain started against Brentford and Chelsea. Despite missing last night’s, Martinez said this was a cautious decision due to a small injury.

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The Belgium manager said: “It was not a sporting decision. He had a small injury that he picked up in training that I won’t go too into detail about. So, we decided not to take any risks given the potential risks. It was not a sporadic decision on my part.”

Photo by Jimmy Bolcina / Photo News via Getty Images

Indeed, as per the report, Lokonga should be fit to feature for Arsenal later this week despite this injury scare. With Granit Xhaka suspended, there’s a good chance that the youngster could play against the Canaries.

The £17.2m summer signing has had a bright start to life in north London, and Arsenal fans will be hoping Lokonga has shaken off this injury ahead of Saturday.

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