Albert Sambi Lokonga says he has been impressed with William Saliba throughout Arsenal’s pre-season marketing campaign and admits he was ‘stunned’ the membership loaned him out final season.
The 21-year-old is but to make first-team debut for Arsenal since his £27 million switch from Saint-Etienne in July 2019.
After being unable to impress Mikel Arteta throughout pre-season coaching final summer season, Saliba was allowed to affix Marseille on mortgage for the 2021-22 marketing campaign.
Saliba thrived throughout his time at Marseille and was topped Ligue 1’s Younger Participant of the Yr and was included within the division’s Group of the Yr.
Marseille had pushed to re-sign Saliba for at the least one other season however Arsenal have opted to maintain the defender and he’s now in line to play a key position beneath Arteta in the course of the upcoming marketing campaign.
When requested about Saliba’s influence throughout pre-season this summer season, Lokonga advised the Counter Assault Podcast: ‘I didn’t know he was so good as a result of I didn’t see him play earlier than [he left].
‘Once I noticed him for the primary time I mentioned, ‘wow, he’s actually, actually good’.
‘So I used to be stunned Arsenal that permit him go on mortgage and he didn’t play.’
Lokonga additionally praised Arsenal’s determination to signal Gabriel Jesus and Oleksandr Zinchenko from Manchester Metropolis.
Requested if he has been stunned by Jesus’ high quality, Lokonga replied: ‘I believe it’s not solely that it’s the power he brings to the workforce.
‘He’s a pleasant man, when he’s on the sector you realize he desires to do one thing so when he’s there he’s not simply performing, he’s dwelling the sport.
‘The best way he presses, he’s intense, I believe he’ll convey loads to us this season.
‘I believe with Jesus you possibly can see [he’s bringing a winning mentality] as a result of he’s extra expressive. With Zinchenko I believe it’s two guys who’ve a number of high quality. I believe you’ll see a number of good issues from them this season.’
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