Arsenal’s busy summer transfer window included the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht and he has now contrasted the coaching methods of Vincent Kompany and Mikel Arteta
Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga has paid tribute to the coaching talents of his former boss Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht.
The central midfielder made the switch from the Belgian side to North London this summer and he credits Kompany for his improvement that helped seal the £17million deal.
The former Manchester City defender made Lokonga the captain of his team and he became an increasingly important first-team player following Kompany’s appointment to the hotseat in 2020.
The midfielder was one of a series of summer arrivals at the Gunners and the Belgian international has already made six appearances for his new club.
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“He had some players of which he asked for more and I was one of them.
“In matches, I knew I couldn’t afford to be at the same level as the others. He wanted me always to do more, to carry the team both on the pitch and off it.
“It’s thanks to him that I got this transfer. He never let me rest and without him I wouldn’t have progressed so much.”
Lokonga looks increasingly set to play an important role for Arsenal this summer and could be set for a long run of games in the team due to a long-term injury to Granit Xhaka.
The 21-year-old also compared and contrasted the coaching methods of Mikel Arteta to his former boss Kompany – the two worked alongside each other at Man City before both ventured into management.
The midfielder added: “In real life, it’s not exactly the same style of coach.
“Of course, there are a lot of similarities in substance. There is the will to find the free man, to function with short and quick combinations.
“There is also this desire to insist on the smallest details and then, more generally, what their playing philosophy.
“However, in the form and the manner of putting it in place, it is very different. Arteta is closer to his group.
“He participates in small training games for example, where Vinnie kept more distance. This is in no way a reproach, just an observation.”
Lokonga has admitted to feeling ‘humiliated’ by Arteta’s side’s heavy five-goal defeat at Man City last month but insisted that there has been significant improvement from his side since.
He added: “You’re going to tell me it’s a stock answer, but I think that it’s when things are tough that you strengthen the links in a team, in a group of staff.
“Here, now, we are all looking in the same direction. We all want to sail the boat forward. We know we need to progress still. We especially need to be meaner.”