Vincent Kompany describes Arsenal midfielder as ‘the new Yaya Toure’

Vincent Kompany has boldly claimed that Albert Sambi Lokonga has the potential to be the next Yaya Toure for Arsenal.

Kompany, 35, has been Anderlecht manager since August 2020 when he announced his retirement from football. The former Manchester City defender has had his fair share of ups and downs in charge of the club, but he’s also tried to keep an eye out for young talent coming up through the ranks.

One such example of that is Albert Sambi Lokonga.

In July 2021, Arsenal signed Sambi Lokonga for a fee believed to be around £18 million. As of this writing, he’s made 12 appearances for the Gunners, with many fans noting how impressed they are by his enthusiasm and determination on and off the ball.

During a recent interview with Rio Ferdinand, Kompany spoke candidly about Sambi Lokonga and how far he could go in the sport.

When did Kompany spot Sambi Lokonga?

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“I was coming to a point where I was thinking about my future, and management. I was watching football from different places and different countries, and I saw Sambi [Lokonga] play his first two games for Anderlecht. Then he got a big injury to his knee.”

“The first thing I did when I saw Sambi is I went to Mikel, and also Pep. I went to Mikel first and I said you’ve gotta watch this guy. He’s the new Yaya Toure.”

What does Kompany like about the 22-year-old?

“What I like about Sambi, that’s rare in football which Yaya did have, is he wants the ball no matter what. The team isn’t doing well? Give the ball to Sambi. The team is doing well? Give the ball to Sambi.” 

“But you need players who are not afraid to have the ball when the going gets tough. You as a centre-back [referring to Rio Ferdinand], your job stops at a certain point on the ball. You need to be able to give it to people who see the next pass, the next move. They take responsibility, take people on, and put that tempo in when there’s no tempo in the game anymore. For me, that’s what Sambi has that makes him special.”

Where does Sambi Lokonga need to improve?

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“He will never hide away from his responsibility. He has things to improve. If he remembers the conversations we’ve had, he will know exactly what he still has to work on. At the same time, Yaya was also a finisher. That’s a very rare thing to have, so I don’t know about that [with Sambi].”

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