African Football HQ: Does Albert Lokonga offer hope for Arsenal?

The Gunners new African star acquired an enormous billing earlier than the marketing campaign, however the season hasn’t begun effectively for the LondonersOne of many key speaking factors for the African Football HQ group forward of the brand new season was the thrill and anticipation for the marketing campaign forward for Arsenal’s African stars.
As effectively as heavyweights Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang, Nicolas Pepe and Thomas Partey, the Gunners have additionally recruited Albert Sambi Lokonga, whereas Folarin Balogun is predicted to have an enormous half to play this time period after signing a brand new contract in April.
There was a lot to be enthusiastic about, but it surely’s honest to say that issues haven’t gone to plan in the course of the first two matches of the season. Editors’ Picks
Following on from the opening recreation of the marketing campaign in opposition to Brentford—an away defeat for Mikel Arteta’s facet—Arsenal have been then defeated by Chelsea at house of their second fixture on Sunday.
Romelu Lukaku and the Blues’ prowess throughout the park have rightfully dominated the headlines, however a second listless show from their London rivals—and nil factors for Mikel Arteta’s facet after two video games—will heap the strain on the Gunners.
There have been few redeeming qualities to their efficiency, even Aubameyang’s return to motion as a second-half substance couldn’t end in halving the deficit.
Pepe was once more nameless on the correct flank, whereas—with Partey nonetheless absent—the Londoners’ midfield lacks energy and management.
Lokonga, making his second begin alongside Granit Xhaka, endured a day to neglect, as he did not familiarize yourself together with his reverse males Jorginho and Mateo Kovacic, whereas failing to guard Cedric Soares from the rampaging runs of Marco Alonso.
Defensively, it’s clear that the Congolese-Belgian midfielder wants time to settle into this Arsenal facet—wait for the returnees and new recruits—and adapt to life within the Premier League after arriving from Anderlecht. It’s an enormous step up, and he wants each time…and a bit extra bulk…to actually thrive.
However, there’s motive for optimism too.
His intelligence in possession is obvious, whereas there have been some pleasant touches in the course of the early phases which showcased his swagger, confidence and appreciable technical capability. 
In time—and ideally with Partey alongside him—Lokonga ought to blossom into a high quality midfield expertise, though an ongoing local weather of instability on the Emirates Stadium could make issues a bit trickier as he seems to ascertain himself.

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