Arsenal new boy Lokonga can’t wait for Premier League challenge after Chelsea outing

The DR Congo prospect had a feel of the Emirates Stadium with fans during Sunday’s loss to Chelsea

New signing Albert Sambi Lokonga said Arsenal are ready for the 2021-22 Premier League season after their 2-1 defeat to Chelsea in a pre-season friendly match on Sunday.

The 21-year-old who joined the Gunners from Anderlecht last month, came off the bench in the 70th minute to make a good first impression with his performance in the middle of the park.

Granit Xhaka’s equaliser was not enough as goals from Kai Havertz and Tammy Abraham helped the Blues come out on top at the Emirates Stadium.

Despite the loss, Lokonga believes Arsenal are prepared to take on newly-promoted Brentford for their opening fixture on August 13 and he is also eager to make his Premier League debut. 

“Yeah, everybody is ready, I am ready, I can’t want to start the league,” Lokonga told the club’s website.

“It was really good, a little bit sad because we didn’t get the three points. But yeah, my first time at the Emirates, I think it’s a good thing for me, a good start. So I hope the future will be better.

“If I have to speak about the team, we had a really good performance, but we gave away the ball and then they scored. But yeah for the next time we have to be careful because I think this kind of goal we can avoid.”

Lokonga’s signing is expected to provide competition for places in Arsenal’s midfield, which has Egypt’s Mohamed Elneny, Ghana’s Thomas Partey in the set-up.

He described how he is coping in London in the first few weeks and his relationship with his new teammates.

“Really good, really good. I think we have a really nice group,” he added. “Everybody is together, (there’s) a good relationship between each other and I think that’s good for the team and for the season.

“Yeah, really I already have some good relationships with the other midfielders. The game is different because the pace is higher, the intensity is higher so it’s good for me.”

The 21-year-old developed through Anderlecht’s academy before making his professional debut in December 2017 and he played in 69 First Division A matches with three goals to his name.



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