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Arsenal new boy Albert Lokonga reveals which star he can’t wait to play with but admits boyhood heroes were all Barca

ARSENAL summer signing Albert Sambi Lokonga identified Nicolas Pepe as the star he is most excited to play with.

Lokonga joined the Gunners from Anderlecht following a £17million deal and made his debut on Wednesday during a friendly match with Watford at London Colney.

Arsenal ace Albert Sambi Lokonga made his debut on Wednesday


Arsenal ace Albert Sambi Lokonga made his debut on WednesdayCredit: Getty

The midfielder got a taste of what awaits this coming season but wants more as he is looking forward to teaming up with Arsenal’s finest, especially Pepe.

Lokonga told Arsenal’s official website: “I think Pepe [is the one I am most excited to link up with].

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“But I’m also looking forward to playing with [Pierre-Emerick] Aubameyang, [Alexandre] Lacazette, [Bukayo] Saka also, so yeah, I hope to have a connection with all the players and quickly.”

But Lokonga admitted that most of the players he looked up to growing up competed for Barcelona, such as Sergio Busquets, Xavi and Andres Iniesta.

However, there were other star midfielders the 21-year-old idolised, like Real Madrid’s Luka Modric and Paris Saint-Germain’s Marco Veratti.

Lokonga added: “I never wanted to be like a player, I always wanted to be Sambi, so I took a little bit of all the players I used to watch.

“I never said to myself that you need to be like this player, I always wanted to be Sambi and to do Sambi on the pitch.

“If I had to tell you some players, I will say Busquets, Xavi, Iniesta, Modric, yeah, all the top players, Marco Veratti as well. All the top players.”

Lokonga impressed last season at Anderlecht with a total of three goals and three assists in 37 appearances across all competitions.

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Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta wanted to sign a talented midfielder to link up with Thomas Partey and replace the departing Granit Xhaka.

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