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'I like him': Jack Wilshere says Arsenal 21-year-old really impressed him in pre-season

Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Former Arsenal star Jack Wilshere spoke on TalkSport yesterday about how impressed he has been with Albert Sambi Lokonga.

The Gunners signed the 21-year-old Belgian midfielder from Anderlecht last month for around £18 million. (Goal) Not a lot was known about Lokonga, but after a few impressive performances in pre-season, his name is at the tip of everyone’s tongue.

With the new season starting on Friday, Arsenal fans are curious to see if Lokonga gets the nod in the middle of the park ahead of Mohamed Elneny. If Wilshere’s words are anything to go by, he wouldn’t be a bad option at all.

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Jack Wilshere: I like the look of Lokonga

He said: “They’ve added a new midfielder who I quite liked the look of.

“I really didn’t know much about him before, but he looks quite good. It will be interesting to see how he does.

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“I like him, he’s young obviously. But he looks tidy on the ball, he’s a physical presence, he can get around the pitch. I don’t expect him to be their best player this season but he’s definitely one who can grow into the season and for the future.”

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The Insider’s View:

Mikel Arteta has a big decision to make on Friday. Thomas Partey is ruled out, while Joe Willock looks like he’s on his way out.

Ainsley Maitland-Niles and Elneny are the more experienced options to start alongside Granit Xhaka, but it would not be a bad idea to give Lokonga a chance to show what he has got against Premier League opposition.

The Belgian, in what we’ve seen of him in an Arsenal shirt, is brilliant on the ball. He’s always aware of what’s around him and he isn’t fazed when he’s pressed either, which is a phenomenal trait to have for a young midfielder.

Arsenal fans really wouldn’t mind seeing Lokonga start against Brentford, but only Arteta knows what he’ll do on Friday.

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