Vincent Kompany: Arsenal have their own Yaya Toure

Arteta and Kompany
(Image credit: Getty)

Vincent Kompany says Arsenal have found their own Yaya Toure - in his young contryman, Albert Sambi Lokonga.

Arsenal signed Lokonga over the summer from Kompany's Anderlecht and the Belgian international has appeared consistently for the Gunners in midfield.

Kompany is a huge fan of the midfielder and says that he sees a lot of similar characteristics between the 21-year-old and his former teammate, Yaya Toure - and even that he recommended the player to Emirates manager Mikel Arteta.

"When I was still a player for City, I was coming to a point where I was thinking about my future. Management? Carry on? Sign a new deal?" Kompany said on Rio Ferdinand's Vibe with Five YouTube channel.

"I was watching football from different countries, different places. And I saw Sambi play his first game - his first two games - then he got an injury to his knee.

"But the first thing I did when I saw Sambi is I went to Mikel and said, 'You've got to watch this guy, he's the new Yaya Toure.'

"Anyway, nothing comes of it. He's got a cruciate ligament and then I end up falling into the management job at Anderlecht, so I'm working with him now. And I had the same conversation about him with Mikel, I still believe the same thing now.

"What I like with Sambi - and it’s rare in football, what Yaya did have - is he wants the ball no matter what.

"If the teams not doing well, give the ball to Sambi. If the team's doing well, give the ball to Sambi. He will never hide away from his responsibility.

"He has things he has to improve... if he remembers the conversations we've had, he will know exactly what he still has to work on but at the same time... Yaya was a finisher and that's a very rare thing to have. I don't know about that [with Sambi]."

"The point is you need players who are not afraid to have the ball when the going gets tough. As a centre-back, your job stops at a certain point on the ball.

"And you need to be able to give it to people who see the next pass, see the next move, 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."

Lokonga has had a whirlwind first few months in English football, playing in the opening day of the season away to Brentford, then at home to Chelsea, before featuring in the north Londoners' 10-game unbeaten run in all competitions.

He's since been called up to the full Belgium squad, too - making his first appearance last month.

Thank you for reading 5 articles this month* Join now for unlimited access

Enjoy your first month for just £1 / $1 / €1

*Read 5 free articles per month without a subscription

Join now for unlimited access

Try first month for just £1 / $1 / €1