Arsenal

Albert Sambi Lokonga admits he considered leaving Arsenal

Finley Crebolder
Lokonga has struggled to break into Arsenal's starting XI
Lokonga has struggled to break into Arsenal's starting XI / DANIEL LEAL/GettyImages
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Albert Sambi Lokonga has admitted that he considered leaving Arsenal during the summer and even sought advice from his agent as to whether he is at the right club.

The Belgian midfielder has struggled to secure a spot in Mikel Arteta's first-choice XI since joining the Gunners a year ago, settling for substitute appearances and Europa League starts.

With the trio of Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka and Martin Odegaaard performing so well this season, it's become even more unlikely that he'll do so anytime soon.

Nevertheless, he remains confident that Arsenal is the best place for his development, although he wasn't sure about that at the end of last season and admits he "almost snapped."

"Honestly, it’s difficult," the player told La Derniere Heure.

"I’m at one of the best clubs in England. I could have played somewhere else every weekend, but that wouldn’t have been the right solution for me. I develop better with 20 minutes of playing time at Arsenal than always playing elsewhere but always winning 3-0 or 4-0.

"It’s a personal decision [to stay at Arsenal]. I wanted to give myself another year to stay at Arsenal and then see what happens. I think I have the qualities to succeed here. Last season, I didn’t perform at my best level. I still have things to prove.

"At the end of last season, I almost snapped. I called my agent to ask him if staying at Arsenal was a good idea. He comforted me in my choice, even though I know I need to start more often to develop."

As a result of his lack of playing time, Lokonga is unlikely to go to the upcoming World Cup with Belgium, despite earning his first senior international cap last year.

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