Albert Sambi Lokonga made his senior international debut for Belgium on Thursday, revealing his pride at the landmark moment afterwards.
When Belgium confirmed their squad list for three international fixtures over the September break, Arsenal summer signing Albert Sambi Lokonga was on the list. It was Lokonga’s second international call-up, having also joined the squad for the final break before the Euros.
But Lokonga didn’t make his debut on that occasion, and he dropped out of the squad for the actual Euros when Axel Witsel returned to full fitness. As a result, this week’s appearance for Belgium against Estonia was Lokonga’s senior international debut.
The debut came in positive circumstances, with Belgium already 4-1 up. Lokonga was on the pitch for just over 15 minutes, completing 93% of his 14 passes and winning a free-kick. Afterwards, he admitted it was a big moment for him.
“I’m proud because I’ve done a lot of work to get here. I am living a beautiful period of my career, but I must keep my feet on the ground.
“The fact that I am well surrounded allows me not to get carried away. Now, I hope to be able to play against my brother Paul-José Mpoku’s Congo.”
Before that, Belgium still have a couple more games in the current international break. They face 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.
Now that he’s made his debut, there’s every chance Lokonga gets further opportunities to feature in those matches before returning to Arsenal.