Albert Sambi Lokonga, Arsenal’s midfielder, has shown great promise since joining in July. Vincent Kompany, Vincent’s former manager at Anderlecht and Manchester City captain is also a fan.
Vincent Kompany, Anderlecht manager, has expressed his opinion about Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga. “new Yaya Toure”.
The 22-year-old played 37 games in all competitions under the Manchester City legend last term, earning a reported £18million move to the Emirates in July.
Soon after the transfer, Arsenal manager Mikel arteta stated that Kompany had recommended Sambi to him after he had excelled in Belgium.
“I know Vincent very well and he talks so highly about Albert and the positive impact he had to Anderlecht in recent seasons,”Arteta explained Arteta July.
Sambi has had a remarkable start to his Arsenal career. He played 12 games in all competitions and was part of the team’s three Premier League appearances.
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“When I was still a player for City, I was coming to a point where I was thinking about my future. Management? Carry on? Sign a new deal?”Kompany.
“I was watching football from different countries, different places. And I saw Sambi play his first game – his first two games – then he got an injury to his knee.
“The first thing I did after seeing Sambi was to go to Mikel and say, “You’ve got the right guy. He’s the Yaya Toure.”
“Anyway, nothing comes of it. He’s got a cruciate ligament and then I end up falling into the management job at Anderlecht, so I’m working with him now.
“And I had the same conversation about him with Mikel, I still believe the same thing now.”
Kompany made a joke about Ferdinand’s Toure claim when he challenged him. “I’m not sure I’ll do him a favour by saying this kind of stuff.
“What I like with Sambi – and it’s rare in football, what Yaya did have – is he wants the ball no matter what.
“If the teams not doing well, give the ball to Sambi. If the team’s doing well, give the ball to Sambi. He will never hide away from his responsibility.
“He knows he has some things to improve upon… If he recalls our conversations, he’ll know exactly what he needs to do to get there.
“But at the same time… Yaya was a finisher and that’s a very rare thing to have. I don’t know about that [with Sambi].”
“The point is you need players who are not afraid to have the ball when the going gets tough. As a centre-back, your job stops at a certain point on the ball.
“You must be able give it to others who can see the next pass, see next move, take accountability, take on people and set the tempo when there isn’t one.
“For me, that’s what Sambi has that makes him special.”
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Sambi, who in September won his first senior Belgium cap, also praised Kompany for his contribution to his development.
“In matches, I knew I couldn’t afford to be at the same level as the others,”In September, the player said this. “He wanted me always to do more, to carry the team both on the pitch and off it.
“He was the reason I received this transfer. He never let me rest and without him I wouldn’t have progressed so much.”