New Arsenal recruit Albert Sambi Lokonga has said that people tell him he is better operating as a defensive midfielder, despite revealing that he can motor further forward if required.
The Belgium international became the Gunners’ second signing of the summer transfer window on Monday, joining the club from Belgian giants Anderlecht for a fee believed to be in the region of £18million.
He has followed former Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares in becoming the second addition to manager Mikel Arteta’s squad overhaul, meaning his arrival has ticked off another box on the Spaniard’s to-do list.
However, it may not be just one box that Sambi Lokonga ticks, as the former Anderlecht star has revealed that he can motor forward up the pitch, opposed to just sitting deep and acting as an anchor for the defence.
Primarily signed to add some protection to the defensive line behind him, the 21-year-old has said that he can play in a more advanced role if required, but has conceded that he is rated higher as a defensive-minded player.
“I can play both,” Sambi Lokonga told Arsenal’s club website when asked what his preferred role is.
“I can play as a six and I can play like a box-to-box, but people say that I’m better in the six position.”
With that said, it is highly likely that Arteta will utilise the youngster purely as a defensive-minded player, having him sat deep in his preferred 4-2-3-1 system alongside Thomas Partey at the base of the midfield.
However, his flexibility to drive further up the pitch could be a useful tool for Arteta to make the most of, should he need the youngster to play in a different role from time to time.
Away from discussing his favoured position, the midfielder also touched upon how big a challenge it will be for him to make the switch to English football.
“It’s a big move because I have been playing for Anderlecht for 10 years so it’s going to be my first big move to another country,” he added
“It’s a big step, but I feel confident because we have to be. In the football world, you have to feel confident about yourself, but I’m looking to play in this league and I can’t wait to start.”