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'I was really p*ssed off' - Sambi Lokonga reveals game time frustrations with Arsenal and Belgium

22:36 GMT+3 17/10/2022
Albert Sambi Lokonga 2022-23
Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga has opened up on his frustrations with his club side and Belgium coach Roberto Martinez.
  • Midfielder 'disgusted' with Belgium
  • Says he 'almost snapped' at Arsenal
  • Is eager for more minutes

WHAT HAPPENED? The Gunners youngster has made his frustrations at a lack of game time for both club and country clear. Sambi Lokongo was called up by Belgium for March friendlies against Republic of Ireland and Burkina Faso but did not feature and was left out of the last squad altogether. The midfielder has made it clear he is not impressed with his situation with the national team and has told coach Roberto Martinez as much.

WHAT THEY SAID: "I called him the day after the international match in March. I was really pissed off. I thought for a moment that I didn’t even want to play for the national team anymore. I was disgusted," Lokonga told La Derniere Heure. "Martinez said he preferred players who are playing regularly at their club. He was also not completely satisfied with my training. I don’t think he can portray me as a bad boy who doesn’t work hard. It would be too easy to put up such a picture of me. He can’t use something like that to justify why I don’t get to play."

THE BIGGER PICTURE: Sambi Lokonga also admitted he almost lost patience at Arsenal last season after struggling for game time under Mikel Arteta. "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 said. "He comforted me in my choice, even though I know I need to start more often to develop."

IN A PHOTO:

WHAT NEXT FOR SAMBI LOKONGA? The 22-year-old impressed in Arsenal's win over Bodo/Glimt last time out in the Europa League and will be hoping to start again on Thursday when the Gunners face PSV.