Report: Mikel Arteta 'snapped' at Albert Sambi Lokonga last night
Arsenal boss Mikel Arteta was proud of his players’ performance against Manchester City last night, but there was a moment in the game where he was furious with Albert Sambi Lokonga.
The Gunners boss named a much-changed lineup against Pep Guardiola’s side. Matt Turner, Takehiro Tomiyasu, Rob Holding, Kieran Tierney, Fabio Vieira and Leandro Trossad all came in, but that made no difference to the way they played in the first half – they were really good.
However, City were the better side in the second half after Thomas Partey was replaced by Lokonga.
Mikel Arteta ‘snapped’ at Arsenal’s Albert Sambi Lokonga last night
When Albert Sambi Lokonga filled in for Thomas Partey in the first few games of last season, everybody felt he had the potential to become a top-quality midfielder at Arsenal.
The Belgian is a fantastic player on the ball. He’s good in possession, has an excellent range of passing and also possesses the incredible ability to drive into the opposition third with the ball.
However, there are still aspects of his game he really struggles in. Positioning is one area that he needs to improve – Martin Odegaard was furious when he was out of position at the end of the game last night.
Another area is his decision making. Lokonga can effortlessly spread the ball from one corner of the pitch to another, but there are times when he just misses the obvious pass and goes with a safer option instead.
That happened on one occasion in the second half last night. The Belgian could’ve passed the ball to Bukayo Saka and helped Arsenal attack. But, he chose to go back to Tomiyasu instead.
That infuriated Mikel Arteta. The Arsenal boss ‘snapped’ on the touchline, Football London writes, and we can understand the Spaniard’s frustration.
There are parts of Lokonga’s game that can be annoying to watch, but there are a lot of things to like about him as well.
The Belgian is still only 23 years old. He has hardly played in the domestic competitions this season, and he probably wasn’t expecting to come on last night either.
That, of course, is no excuse at this level. Lokonga needs to step up if he wants to become a star at Arsenal, and maybe a loan deal could help him reach his potential.
Monaco are reportedly keen, but we can’t see Arsenal letting him go as things stand, especially if they don’t sign another midfielder before the window shuts on Tuesday.
You may also like…
- ‘The money is irrelevent’: Kevin Campbell reacts to rumour coming out of Arsenal on Tuesday
- Ilkay Gundogan could leave Man City this summer, after claims Arsenal want to sign him
- Arsenal now making the strongest bid to sign ‘extraordinary’ striker
- Andy Robertson left applauding 25-year-old Arsenal player after seeing his display last night