The Gunners new boy insists he will look to be himself at Emirates Stadium, but there are a number of stars that he looks up to
Albert Sambi Lokonga is settling in at Arsenal on the back of an £18 million ($25m) move to Emirates Stadium, and the highly-rated 21-year-old has picked out the players he is most looking forward to working with in north London.
Mikel Arteta has bought into the Belgian midfielder’s potential as the Gunners look to build for the present and future with shrewd signings and important contract renewals.
Lokonga forms part of that process and is hoping to catch the eye in 2021-22 alongside established stars and exciting youngsters.
What has been said?
Asked by Arsenal Media to pick out those he is eager to link up with, Lokonga said: “I think [Nicolas] Pepe [is the one I am most excited to link up with].
“But I’m also looking forward to playing with [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Bukayo] Saka also, so yeah, I hope to have a connection with all the players and quickly.”
Who are Lokonga’s role models?
The highly-rated youngster is very much his own man and insists that he will be treading his own path with Arsenal, rather than following in any footsteps.
There are, however, a number of legendary performers that he has looked to for inspiration when forging his own career in the midfield engine room.
Naming those he looks up to, Lokonga added: “I never wanted to be like a player, I always wanted to be Sambi, so I took a little bit of all the players I used to watch.
“I never said to myself that you need to be like this player, I always wanted to be Sambi and to do Sambi on the pitch.
“If I had to tell you some players, I will say [Sergio] Busquets, Xavi, [Andres] Iniesta, [Luka] Modric, yeah, all the top players, Marco Veratti as well. All the top players.”
Arsenal are currently preparing for friendly derby dates with London rivals Chelsea and Tottenham, with a Premier League season opener against Brentford set to be taken in on August 13.