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Jurgen Klopp Surprised by Arsenal’s Decision to Let Talented Midfielder Leave on Loan

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Jurgen Klopp recognises Albert Sambi Lokonga’s recent form for Luton Town F.C in a press conference, and is surprised to see Arsenal letting a player of this talent leave on loan.

Klopp Cannot Believe Arsenal Loaned Lokonga

Lokonga’s Form Earns Recognition

The Liverpool manager spoke out on Luton Town’s recent performances in a press conference, and is impressed by the team’s structure and thinks “they deserve respect”. In particular, Klopp highlights two of their players in Ross Barkley and Lokonga, with the former being “back to his best or better” in a reformed, deeper role under Rob Edwards.

Speaking on the latter, the German is evidently surprised by the Gunners’ decision to loan the Belgian this season. “Lokonga when you see him playing and you think, oh – he’s an Arsenal player and they loaned him? Interesting.”

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Just three weeks into his loan spell, the 24-year-old suffered an injury which kept him sidelined for a couple of months. However, since returning to action in December 2023, he has featured in every game for his club, and has transitioned into being an important asset to midfield.

His recent form has been particularly impressive, with strong performances in the teams’ previous four games. Despite losing their last two fixtures, Edwards’ men dominated possession with 58% against Manchester United and 75% against Sheffield United; Lokonga played a key role in allowing his team to assert such dominance in possession in these games.

A Confidence Boost for Arsenal’s Talented Midfielder

Klopp’s comments will serve as a big boost to the 24-year-old, who has finally managed to find a good run of Premier League form in what feels like ages. Since joining Arsenal in the Summer of the 2021/22 season for around £17.2 million, the former Anderlecht man initially struggled to adapt to life in England. He made 39 appearances over two terms for the Gunners, largely due to fitness issues with Mikel Arteta’s first-choice defensive midfielder, Thomas Partey. The Belgian failed to create his space in the squad and ultimately left for Crystal Palace on loan in search for more playing time in January of the 2022/23 campaign.

Mustering just nine appearances in half a season with lots of time on the bench, the Crystal Palace stint did not go as Lokonga would have hoped. However, an offer from newly promoted Luton Town the following Summer inevitably proved to be the correct decision for his career.

With a contract expiring in 2026, it remains to be seen whether Lokonga returns back to North London to fight for his place or leaves on another loan (or permanent transfer). In the meantime, he will be hoping to use this confidence boost to continue fighting for his clubs’ survival by the end of the season.

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Luton Town currently sit 18th in the Premier League table with 20 points an additional game in hand. Despite some impressive performances, such as the recent 4-0 victory over Brighton, the Hatters still have a bit more work to do to guarantee their survival. Though as Klopp said, with personalities like Barkley and Lokonga in the team and a strong fighting spirit, they have a hopeful chance of avoiding relegation this season.


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