Arsenal 21yo could make international debut after receiving senior call-up

Albert Sambi Lokonga in training with Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal.com)
Albert Sambi Lokonga in training with Arsenal (Photo via Arsenal.com)

Albert Sambi Lokonga has been called up by the Belgium national team for the upcoming international break, after positive displays with Arsenal.

London, England, 8th August 2021. Ben White R and Sambi Lokonga of Arsenal during the Pre Season Friendly match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture credit should read: Paul Terry / Sportimage
London, England, 8th August 2021. Ben White (R) and Sambi Lokonga of Arsenal during the Pre-Season Friendly match at the Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London. Picture: Paul Terry / Sportimage

Belgium have confirmed their squad list for three upcoming international fixtures over the September break, and Arsenal summer signing Albert Sambi Lokonga has received a call-up from his country.

This isn’t Lokonga’s first international call-up, as he also joined the squad for the last break ahead of the Euros. He was on the bench for their game against Greece, but eventually dropped out of the final tournament squad when Axel Witsel recovered from injury.

But the 21-year-old is clearly highly rated, and it looks like he might now get his first chance to debut for his country. A couple of good individual displays for Arsenal will have done him no harm on that front.

Belgium face Estonia (A) on Thursday, September 2nd at 19:45, then the Czech Republic (H) on Sunday, September 5th at 19:45, before Belarus (A) on Wednesday, September 8th at 19:45 – all times in BST.

The three matches are all World Cup qualifiers, so there are no friendlies to ease Lokonga in. But with three games in such quick succession, you’d imagine there will be sufficient squad rotation for the midfielder to play at least some part on the pitch.

It’s nice to see another Arsenal player recognised by their country, and Lokonga might face off against Karl Hein with Estonia. Though the midfielder is another for whom we now have to keep our fingers crossed for a healthy return.