Who is Albert Sambi Lokonga?
Albert-Mboyo Sambi Lokonga is a 21-year-old versatile midfielder, born in Brussels, Belgium who is on the books of the Premier League club Arsenal.
He started his professional career with Anderlecht seven years ago.
Lokonga’s first involvement away from the younger age categories of the academy was when Sambi was named in the match-day roster for Anderlecht’s U19s for a UEFA Youth League clash with Danish side FC Midtjylland in October 2016.
It was during the 2017/18 season when he began to earn more chances to impress, making the step-up to the senior team fold, in spite of his tender age of just 17-years-old. He made featured in first-team matches that term, five of which came in the Jupiler Pro League.
The following campaign saw the midfielder, who is viewed as a box-to-box type player, fail to build on his previous season’s success.
The 2019/20 term was his big, breakthrough campaign. Although the plater had slowly become a familiar name with the Anderlecht fans, the youngster soon became a regular for the club;
The Belgian made 26 appearances for the club across all competitions, grabbing four assists.
This season, Albert cemented himself in manager Vincent Kompany’s plans even more, featuring in 37 matches in all competitions. Sambi also added a goal-scoring ability to his game, scoring three in the Belgian top-=light.
Lokonga, who predominantly played as a holding midfielder last season, wore the captain’s armband for large portions of the season, suggesting that the talent has impressive leadership qualities within his arsenal for a player.
What is Lokonga’s international career like?
On the international stage, he has been capped by his country at U17, U19 and U21 levels, as well as being named in the senior roster back in March for the very first time, although he did not earn his first cap under manager Roberto Martinez.
What are his strengths and weaknesses?
He is agile and quick and can flow into any role in the midfield, Albert is excellent at bringing the ball up from the defence with his dribbling skills, this also makes the Belgian a powerful progressive ball carrier.
The ace also has brilliant passing skills. Sambi could be a midfielder to sit deep and control the tempo.
Where the gifted player lacks is his touch, which can be unstable and allow pressure on himself, sometimes losing the ball.
Lokonga also has problems with his decision making, be that in the final third or defensively, though this could be down to Sambi’s lack of experience.