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Sambi Lokonga: Sam Be the Man in Midfield?

Blood on the Tracks

AG's best friend, role model and mentor.
Trusted ⭐

Country: England

Player:Rice
Mate, I’m pretty sure if Lokonga would have been long gone by now, if he hides from the ball or was just not good enough as seen in the opinion here.

If you are calling his poor positioning and lack of awareness “hiding” then ok. What I’m saying is, he doesn’t have the awareness and other key requirements needed for a six. I don’t see that as protecting or standing up for the player, I see it as an assessment on where he is as a player.

What angers me is this writing off of the player completely. Sure, he isn’t good enough now, but where do we get all this confidence when claiming the player will never get it right? Did we not learn with Nketiah, Ødegaard, White and TP5 himself?

I think it's natural that people get frustrated.

We're in a title race. If Lokonga has to play a significant amount of minutes it's likely going to cost us points.

We're not in a position to give him the game time to let him grow and make mistakes at Arsenal, the stakes are too high.

Either sell him or get him a Tavares type loan in the summer.
 

Makingtrax

Worships in the house of Wenger 🙏
Trusted ⭐

Country: England

Player:Saliba
Sambi needs to go somewhere he plays everyweek. This Arsenal move kind of stalled his career, I don't think it was a good move.
Arteta stuck by Eddie and with regular game time he’s come on leap and bounds. Just needed a break. An injury to Partey or Xhaka could see him get some game time, then who knows? Arteta sees him regularly in training and must see something in him.
 

SA Gunner

Hates Tierney And Wants Him Sold Immediately
Moderator

Country: South Africa

Player:Nketiah
I think it's natural that people get frustrated.

We're in a title race. If Lokonga has to play a significant amount of minutes it's likely going to cost us points.

We're not in a position to give him the game time to let him grow and make mistakes at Arsenal, the stakes are too high.

Either sell him or get him a Tavares type loan in the summer.

I think he’ll be off, I like the kid and can see he is trying. But he lacks what we need at six at this point. TP5 and Caicedo should hopefully be enough for the possible remaining 26 games.

Sambi is 23 and that for me would be the motivation to keep him at the club, if there is space. He can continue to improve either in the cups or on loan, because there are aspects to his game I like and feel he can become a player.
 

Tir Na Nog

Changes Opinion Every 5 Minutes

Country: Ireland
I think his talent is undeniable, he grew into the game yesterday in terms of in possession and in that regard he didn't put a foot wrong. But when you've got the captain being so frustrated and animated in you not doing your work well enough off the ball it screams that he's miles away from being ready.

Rewind back to that Chelsea game at the start of last season, but without trying to pat myself on the back, I said he looked pretty poor without possession while everyone was praising the fact he was trying to make things happen. I said he was a cone defensively and here we are it's still the same pretty much. That said he needs to play regularly to improve this aspect, it won't happen here tho, he just don't have the luxury to do it. If this was 2020 or 2021 he might've been given chances, but we're in a different stage of our development as a team now.

He'll have to do some serious improve if he's to make it here, we're going for the likes of Caicedo and maybe Rice, one is younger and the other is not much older which indicates he just may never get the opportunities.
 

Arsenal4life14

Active Member
To me he just looks like a lazy player as well as bad positional play. His passing is decent and carries the ball alright.

Doesn't fit Artetas mentality that he's breeding in the club, he had a chance last night to go out and give it his all in that 45 minutes to prove himself but instead looks like mentally he's still sulking about not getting much game time.

It's sad because he does have a lot of good attributes but mentally he's holding himself back really, Xhaka is like 6 years older than Lokonga and played the whole game and he was putting in more effort than Lokonga in the last 10 minutes.
 

BergMan

Leverkusen Ultra
I have been harsh on Lokonga here, it’s mostly out of frustration. Clearly the players are frustrated with him too. It’s not just Ødegaard, I see it on Xhaka’s face, he’s having to work twice as hard because of Lokonga’s laziness off the ball, saw it in all those Europa games, but I don’t think Xhaka’s the kind to take out his frustration at his teammates, yesterday he was trying to guide Sambi, didn’t work obviously.

Not to say Sambi‘s not a good player, because he can be, but considering both mentality and system wise he does not suit this Arsenal team at all, not in any position on the pitch. At another club he can flourish, it wouldn’t surprise me.
 

MikelHadADream

Established Member
Trusted ⭐
This lads the new scapegoat. He’s obviously low on confidence and isn’t comfortable within the team, and there seems to be a massive pile on every time he steps onto the pitch now.
 

Gooner Zig

AM's Resident Accountant
Trusted ⭐

Country: Canada
Sell. There's talent there but he came to the club at the wrong time in his career. He needs a reset.
 

TromsoGooner

Obsessed With Looking for Eric
He had 30 touches, more than Partey had, so I don`t think it`s fair to say he was hiding from the ball. And as others have pointed out, he is pretty tidy on the ball and is a good passer. However, he is just so one paced and defensively unaware. Hardlye ever first to any second balls, doesn`t track runners and seems happy just to cruise through games, whcih will never work in the PL, and espcially under Arteta, unless you are prime Yaya Toure.
 

Rasmi

Negative Nancy

Country: England
He had 30 touches, more than Partey had, so I don`t think it`s fair to say he was hiding from the ball. And as others have pointed out, he is pretty tidy on the ball and is a good passer. However, he is just so one paced and defensively unaware. Hardlye ever first to any second balls, doesn`t track runners and seems happy just to cruise through games, whcih will never work in the PL, and espcially under Arteta, unless you are prime Yaya Toure.
Yeah if you look at his performance last night in isolation it wasn’t bad. But people take all their anger on him and with Partey injured he is the perfect scapegoat. Any game Partey doesn’t play and we lose it will be his fault
 

bastun

Active Member

Country: Rwanda

Player:Saka
We lost 4 games this season. Lokonga playing all of them is not a coincidence. Best for him to go somewhere on loan where it fits his style and play. Somewhere with slow tempo and no tackling allowed.
 

Heavy Duty Rom

Outdated Tweets Merchant
By no means a fan, but he wasn't even that bad yesterday. Grew into the game. A certain Fabio Vieira is getting off scot free in comparison.
 

EmeryCouldnt

Established Member
Mate, I’m pretty sure if Lokonga would have been long gone by now, if he hides from the ball or was just not good enough as seen in the opinion here.

If you are calling his poor positioning and lack of awareness “hiding” then ok. What I’m saying is, he doesn’t have the awareness and other key requirements needed for a six. I don’t see that as protecting or standing up for the player, I see it as an assessment on where he is as a player.

What angers me is this writing off of the player completely. Sure, he isn’t good enough now, but where do we get all this confidence when claiming the player will never get it right? Did we not learn with Nketiah, Ødegaard, White and TP5 himself?

He’s clearly not the back up player Arsenal needs for Partey if we want to win something this year.

Im not saying he’ll never get there. But it doesn’t look very promising right now.
 

Melquiades

Active Member
Awful player who is a liability whenever he’s on the pitch and should be sold for whatever we can get at the first opportunity.
 

EmeryCouldnt

Established Member
Exactly. Never like to see fans hitting on players. The club bought him and tells him how to play. The praise for Arteta and his process is effusive on here, so why not trust him in this.

Because Arteta doesn’t have other options at the moment. It appears he’s forced to play him. Arteta has shown he doesn’t trust Lokonga when he isn’t forced to play him.
 

GunnerBP

Established Member
Trusted ⭐
Lokonga just isn't good enough. He seems to lack confidence because he isn't good enough to play at this level. Theoretically, one could argue that his technique and passing are good enough to play at this level, but the most important thing in Arteta's team is clearly one's on the pitch intelligence.

You need to be smart enough to know when to speed up the play or slow down the play. You need to know when to hold on to the ball a little longer so that you can draw in your opponent and create the space for a line breaking pass. You need to know when to play the brave pass and when to play the safe pass. And most importantly, you need to know where you need to be on the pitch at all times. Sambi doesn't do any of this.

His positioning was so atrocious against City that it was laughable. I honestly couldn't believe how often he followed the run of a midfielder out to the flanks and just left a gaping hole in the middle of the field. This is basic stuff.

If he can't figure out this basic stuff after being coach by Arteta for nearly two seasons then he's probably never going to figure it out.

He's just not good enough.
 

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