Anderlecht sporting director Peter Verbeke is bound Arsenal have made a superb signing in younger midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga and expects him to emerge as one of many Premier League membership’s leaders.
Lokonga was confirmed as an Arsenal participant on Monday, becoming a member of Nuno Tavares as a brand new arrival to kick off what could possibly be a busy summer time of switch enterprise for the Premier League membership.
The 21-year-old had spent his complete profession till now with Anderlecht and Verbeke, who arrived on the membership in March 2020, noticed loads of enchancment in him throughout the time they labored collectively, speaking positively of the best way he had developed into a frontrunner at such a young age.
Talking to Sky Sports activities Information chief reporter Bryan Swanson, Verbeke mentioned: “Sambi is after all an excellent participant. He is one of many high abilities coming from our academy. He can play as a defensive midfield participant, he can play as a box-to-box participant and, particularly the final two seasons on the membership, he has developed rather well.
“He is somebody who is sweet on the ball, his technical means in tight areas is basically good. Good brief passing, good lengthy passing. He is all the time been a late developer so it is solely within the final season that his bodily improvement actually got here into place.
“It means now he has the qualities to have the ability to get better extra balls, he is higher in duels and that is why I feel he might develop in a job as a defensive midfielder for Arsenal in years to return.
“After all he nonetheless has some working factors; he must get higher statistics as a box-to-box and must be a bit bit more durable in duels as a defensive midfielder, however he already did rather well final season and I count on him solely to do higher within the subsequent season.
“I feel Arsenal made a superb resolution on him and I feel he’s going to be a high participant for Arsenal within the years to return.”
Verbeke feels Lokonga might change into the subsequent Belgian participant to impress within the Premier League, the place he follows within the footsteps of some well-known gamers together with his former Anderlecht head coach Vincent Kompany.
And for somebody with fewer than 70 top-flight video games beneath his belt, Verbeke believes Lokonga’s management is one thing Arsenal might see a long-term profit from.
He added: “Sambi has been the captain of the membership – a really younger Anderlecht after all – however he was nonetheless a captain and a pure chief each on and off the pitch. I feel he’ll settle in rather well within the new membership and since his technical means is that good,
“I do not assume there will probably be any adaptation issues. After all the Premier League is a better stage than the Belgian League however the boys who’ve been developed in Anderlecht like [Youri] Tielemans, and earlier than that [Romelu] Lukaku, I feel they’ve all settled in properly. All of them obtained a superb training on the academy and I count on Sambi will do the identical factor.
“He is a really good man, very laid again, however very arduous working in coaching. He is a frontrunner however not in an boastful sort of manner, extra of a pure chief on the pitch. When issues do not go so properly, he picks up his duty, though he is solely 21.
“There is a step up after all, and it isn’t straightforward, however I’m fairly positive he’ll do properly. I do not know precisely what the Arsenal squad will appear to be for the subsequent season – if they are going to do much more incoming recruitment – however I feel Sambi has all of the technical and bodily qualities to make a direct impression within the Premier League.”