aul-José M’Poku, brother of Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, has insisted the Belgian midfielder is happy at the club.
While the 22-year-old always looked like a signing with one eye on the future following his move from Anderlecht last summer, not even an injury to Thomas Partey has seen Lokonga recalled to the starting lineup.
With Mohamed Elneny staking a claim for a starting berth in the Ghanaian’s absence, Lokonga has been limited to only three Premier League starts since January as Arsenal’s Champions League challenge rode off the rails.
The club are expected to move for another midfielder this summer, potentially pushing the Belgian international down even further in the pecking order.
Still, despite his lack of regular minutes, the player’s brother has stressed that adapting to life in the Premier League is a gradual process and ruled out any possibility of a quick-fire move away from the Emirates.
Speaking to Belgian outlet RTBF, M’Poku said: “We’re not worried.
“Other players like Kevin De Bruyne or Romelu Lukaku have also taken time to establish themselves in the English Premier League. The difference with the Belgian league is big, and Arsenal is not a mid-table club.
“We would have signed with both hands for a first season with 33% of playing time. And Albert is improving every day, especially in training.
“But the competition is tough in the team, with boys like Thomas Partey, Granit Xhaka or Mohamed Elneny, and the coach must respect a certain hierarchy.
“He has so much talent; sometimes it seems so easy for him that maybe the coach expects more from him? He shouldn’t rest on his abilities. And maybe he needs to show more in training. I’m not worried, and neither is he.
“It’s [a transfer] out of the question, at least for him. He is very well integrated into the club and the city, he is happy, although he hopes to play more next season, and his potential would deserve it.
“And there will be European games. I talked to him on the phone on Monday; he was disappointed because, with the defeat in Newcastle, the Champions League has moved away, but there will be the Europa League, and he is positive about his season.”