Albert Sambi Lokonga has given an interview in which he talks signing for ‘legendary club’ Arsenal and the love he already feels from the fans.

Albert Sambi Lokonga, Sport/Foot magazine
Albert Sambi Lokonga, Sport/Foot magazine

Along with Ben White, Martin Odegaard, Aaron Ramsdale, Nuno Tavares and Takehiro Tomiyasu, Albert Sambi Lokonga arrived this summer at Arsenal and immediately set to work to make Arsenal fans love him.

We were, of course, sceptical.

If we’re honest, few of us knew much about any of our new signings, and given the sorts of players we’ve had to watch over recent years, our expectations weren’t all that high.

But all the players who arrived in the summer have impressed for various reasons, and 21-year-old Sambi is no exception.

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 credit should read: Paul Terry / Sportimage

“I took a while talking with the coach and the sports director (Edu), and it gradually became obvious to me,” Sambi told Sport/Foot magazine, via Sport Witness, about the decision to join Arsenal.

“They were the ones who really gave me comfort in choosing this club.

“After that, they [the critics] don’t have a lot of merit, it’s easy to be convincing when you to work for Arsenal (laughs).

“Without joking, this is a legendary club.

London, England, 22nd September 2021. Albert Sambi Lokonga of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture credit should read: David Klein / Sportimage SPI-1207-0050
London, England, 22nd September 2021. Albert Sambi Lokonga of Arsenal during the Carabao Cup match at the Emirates Stadium, London. Picture credit should read: David Klein / Sportimage SPI-1207-0050

“Of course, there is the reality of the moment [and the position Arsenal are in], but there is also all the weight of history behind it.

“They told me that they wanted to form a good team, to return to Europe from next season and more generally to start again after a complicated season.

“I immediately wanted to participate in the rebuilding of this club. Because for me, even in a crisis, Arsenal remains Arsenal.

“I immediately understood the fans’ unconditional love.

Albert Sambi Lokonga in training ahead of Arsenal vs Norwich
Albert Sambi Lokonga in training ahead of Arsenal vs Norwich

“For me, it was warm above all. Do you know that I am more often approached on the streets in London than when I was in Brussels? Here, I am asked for autographs, selfies. London is much more of a football city than Brussels.”

Sambi is now in line for a run in the starting lineup after Granit Xhaka’s ligament injury to his right knee.

On Wednesday, Arsenal confirmed that Xhaka would miss around three months of action.

They wrote, “Further to injuring his right knee during Sunday’s match against Tottenham Hotspur, assessments and scans have confirmed that Granit Xhaka suffered a significant injury to his medial knee ligament.

“A specialist consultation took place in London on Tuesday evening which has determined that Granit does not require surgery.

“Granit’s recovery and rehabilitation programme will start immediately and we are aiming for him to be back in action in approximately three months.”

His wife posted a picture of Xhaka wearing a knee brace on Tuesday.

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Writer. Feminist. Dreamer. Gooner. Owner of DailyCannon.com, writing about Arsenal since 2008. Sometimes found in the Guardian, Vice.com & elsewhere talking queer issues, politics & football. If in doubt, assume sarcasm.