Arteta hails Arsenal’s Lokonga deal and reveals Kompany praise


ikel Arteta is confident that new signing Albert Sambi Lokonga is ready to make the step up at Arsenal.

The Belgian midfielder, 21, officially arrived at Emirates Stadium on a long-term contract on Monday afternoon after completing a high-profile move from Anderlecht worth £15million plus add-ons.

Lokonga is the second new signing of the summer so far at Arsenal following the £8.5m addition of Portuguese full-back Nuno Tavares from Benfica and will be expected to challenge quickly for a place in Mikel Arteta’s first XI next season.

The former Belgium Under-21 international already has 73 senior appearances under his belt for Anderlecht, whom he captained at a young age.

And Arteta believes Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany has played a vital part in Lokonga’s development in his role as manager of the Belgian giants.

“Albert is a very intelligent player who has shown great maturity in his performances during his development. He has been coached well by Vincent Kompany and his team at Anderlecht,” Arteta told Arsenal’s official website.

“I know Vincent very well and he talks so highly about Albert and the positive impact he had to Anderlecht in recent seasons.

“We’re confident Albert’s ready for the next stage in his development and we’re looking forward to welcoming a new member to our squad with his quality and presence.”

The Gunners are long-term admirers of Lokonga, who will take the no23 shirt in north London vacated by David Luiz’s release last month.

The highly-rated midfielder had been linked with a host of other clubs around Europe, with technical director Edu thrilled that Arsenal were able to see off stiff competition for his signature.

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