After the 1-0 loss against Manchester City, a lot of fans have put the blame the loss towards Sambi Lokonga, who was a second-half substitution for Thomas Partey after an injury scare. A lot of Arsenal fans blamed the Nathan Ake goal on the poor positional play of Lokonga as Ake stroked the ball perfectly into the bottom corner of Matt Turner’s net.
Despite the negative press and controversial comments surrounding Lokonga’s most recent performance, there have been Arsenal fans who have backed up the Belgian midfielder stating: ‘Players are human like us. There’s no need to hate our players. Maybe he isn’t performing well on the pitch as people wish, but in these moments you need to support him to lift his confidence. We are a family in which players have to feel our love.’
Another Arsenal fan defended him stating:
“Leave Albert Sambi Lokonga alone. What he needs right now is your support, not insults.”
Ian Wright also commented on the Belgian midfielder stating: ‘He needs minutes, he needs to be playing, he needs to be able to understand and be warier of where he is and what he needs to do.’ After joining from Anderlecht in 2021 and not having the most successful time at Arsenal so far, a loan move may be the best option to properly kickstart the talented midfielder’s career.
Sambi Lokonga is a very calm player on the ball and very good at spreading the ball to the wings and completing a quick turnover, but his strength and positional play need to improve. One player Sambi Lokonga angered was Martin Odegaard. The captain told the number 23 to get into position multiple times, but it was almost like Lokonga wasn’t listening. The lack of understanding from Lokonga angered the Norweigan midfielder, making the playmaker throw his arms in the air in frustration.
The thing is, this isn’t the only time the Belgian midfielder has angered a squad member. Eddie Nketiah was pictured on Amazon Primes ‘All Or Nothing’ digging Lokonga out after he complained about his lack of game time. Lokonga said he used to smile because he was playing, to which Eddie Nketiah responded: ‘So what my friend? You think you are the f**king only one not playing, my friend, huh? Stop feeling sorry for yourself and f**king wake up, yeah man.’
Martin Odegaard’s furious reaction to Albert Sambi Lokonga’s positioning in this clip.
— TheAFCnewsroom (@TheAFCnewsroom) January 27, 2023
Despite the mixed opinions among Arsenal fans, a majority agree that a loan move will help Sambi Lokonga massively, as a year out on loan could make all the difference.
Yesterday it was announced Sambi Lokonga will play the remainder of the season on loan at Crystal Palace & what better person from him to learn from than Patrick Vieira. One of the best midfielders of his generation.
Hopefully this loan spell will bring the Belgian’s confidence back and he can start enjoying his football again.
It will certainly be a big six months in Albert Sambi Lokonga’s career and he certainly needs to have a successful loan spell at Crystal Palace if he wants to have an opportunity at Arsenal next season.