The Manchester City legend has praised his countryman Albert Sambi Lokonga who has recently joined Arsenal.
Arsenal signed Albert Sambi Lokonga on a £15 million deal in the summer transfer window. The former Anderlecht midfielder has managed to integrate himself quickly at the Emirates Stadium, delivering convincing performances in Arsenal’s midfield.
Former Manchester City defender Vincent Kompany is a big fan of Lokonga. In a new interview, the Belgian legend has compared the young midfielder to his former teammate Yaya Toure.
What has been said?
“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 said on Rio Ferdinand’s Five YouTube channel.
“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.
“But the first thing I did when I saw Sambi is I went to Mikel and said, ‘You’ve got to watch this guy, he’s the new 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.”
Lokonga earned his first Belgium call-up last month and played his debut for the national team.
The Arsenal star has the chance to play again for Belgium in their World Cup qualifier against Wales on Tuesday.
Kompany added: “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 has things he has to improve… if he remembers the conversations we’ve had, he will know exactly what he still has to work on 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].”
How has Lokonga performed for Arsenal?
As Arsenal find their rhythm under Mikel Arteta, Lokonga is developing himself as a key player in the Gunners squad.
The 21-year-old has featured in 12 matches for the Gunners across all competitions, displaying impressive performances in different areas of the pitch.
Arteta’s side have climbed up to fifth place on the league table by winning their last three league matches. Lokonga and co will continue their Premier League campaign with a league game against Liverpool on Saturday.