Arsenal were beaten by Chelsea on Sunday afternoon in a game that highlighted just how much progress Mikel Arteta’s side still need to make before the new season gets underway.
Poor defending and individual mistakes were on show once again, whilst a lack of activity in the summer transfer market thus far brought about a familiarity with regards to the lineup Mikel Arteta chose to start the game.
With that said, there were still a few positives to take from the so-called friendly at the Emirates Stadium.
One being Ben White’s first appearance since sealing his £50m transfer last Friday and another being Granit Xhaka’s goal following a U-turn regarding his Arsenal career.
But what fans enjoyed the most has been discussed on social media.
Whilst it didn’t lead to a goal, supporters were impressed with the pass from Albert Sambi Lokonga to Nicolas Pepe that eventually saw Joe Willock see an effort clearly cross the line.
However, goalline technology wasn’t in use at the Emirates so the Gunners were denied a second equaliser.
Although, that hasn’t taken the gloss off Lokonga’s fine pass as many are getting rather excited about how the 21-year-old develops whilst under Arteta’s tutelage.
The midfielder is one of three new arrivals in north London thus far, and whilst he’s not expected to be one of the first names on Arteta’s team sheet, there’s a feeling he should be in the conversation for regular game time when the 2021/22 campaign gets underway.
@ReevaH_said: “Look how effortlessly Lokonga played that pass. Need to see more of these from our other midfielders or Lokonga gets the starting spot surely.”
@HareeDevAFCsaid: “That pass though. Lokonga. Filth!”
@andramaulanasaid: “Woof, what a chip pass from Lokonga there. All the more reason to start him ahead of Elneny.”
@juniorpiba22said: “Lokonga has to start the season if Partey can’t.”
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Depending on the outcome of Thomas Partey‘s scan after he suffered an injury scare against Chelsea, one spot in central midfield could be up for grabs during the early weeks of the new season.
And judging by the responses, it would appear that Arteta has found the ideal replacement in Lokonga – or even the perfect partner for the Ghana international when he’s fully fit.
After spending £15m on the midfielder, the Spaniard may not have expected to be turning to the 21-year-old so quickly, but the signs are that Lokonga is ready for the challenge.
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