New Arsenal Signing Albert Lokonga Honors Michael Jordan With Heartfelt Gesture

Published 08/13/2021, 9:39 AM EDT
DATE: 10/20/01 PHOTO BY : JOEL RICHARDSON DIG MICHAEL JORDAN AND THE WIZARDS HOST NEW JERSEY NETS (Photo by The The Washington Post via Getty Images) | Courtesy: Getty Images


Gone are those days when Thierry Henry rampages down the left wing to produce incredible moments during the games. With coach Mikel Arteta adopting a defensive approach, the squad is taking its shape heading to the new English Premier League season. Despite the presence of technically adept footballers, there are no players who can take the game by the scruff of their neck in the current Arsenal squad. Enter Albert Sambi Lokonga. Even though he is just 21 years old, Lokonga brings fresh impetus to the team while also donning a special jersey number. No 23. Michael Jordan.

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However, can he be the answer to all of Arsenal’s problems?

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Lokonga’s tribute to Michael Jordan

The Belgian made his first-team debut in 2017 with his boyhood club, Anderlecht. As the new season dawns today, Arsenal will take on Brentford in their opening clash, while Lokonga is expected to start the game. With Thomas Partey out injured, he is predicted to partner Granit Xhaka in the midfield. But the authentic story begins with his number 23 jersey.

Chicago Bulls All-Star forward # 23 Michael Jordan file photos. (Photo by Tom Berg/WireImage)

The youngster is an ardent follower of Michael Jordan and chose the number 23 jersey behind his back. Jordan was arguably the greatest basketball player in the world. The Chicago Bulls superstar paved his way to the Bulls lineup and the rest, as they say, is history. Jordan was never really a gifted player, but hard work and persistence to become the greatest propelled him to unparalleled heights.

The question now would be whether Albert Sambi Lokonga can be the next Michael Jordan?

Let’s not get ahead of ourselves for now.

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Will Lokonga be the answer to Arsenal’s problems?

With Stan Kroenke at the helm, Arsenal fans have been demanding better impetus from the board. Spotify owner Daniel Ek made a significant bid to buy the club to take them back to their glory days. But the Kroenke’s rejected the offer, stating that they were the best owners to lead the club forward.

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Keeping to their promise of delivering funds, the club has brought in some talented players. Ben White, Nuno Tavares, and Albert Sambi Lokonga will be integral to their chances from now on. White is a proven defender while Nuno is a raw prospect. However, Lokonga is a different sort of player altogether.

Soccer Football – Pre Season Friendly – Tottenham Hotspur v Arsenal – Tottenham Hotspur Stadium, London, Britain – August 8, 2021 Tottenham Hotspur’s Dele Alli in action with Arsenal’s Albert Sambi Lokonga Action Images via Reuters/Peter Cziborra

The midfield has got immense composure and links the defense to the attack very well. With his long lanky legs, he can put in a tackle or so in the match. Shades of Patrick Vieira come into our minds. But donning the number 23 jersey would be a monumental task for an athlete in any sport. Because that is the legacy left by Michael Jordan. The Chicago Bulls star won six NBA championships and will forever be remembered for his determination and passion for the game.

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The cryptic post of Lokonga surely shows his confidence and his love for his favorite basketball player. But can he follow the same paths of MJ and become an icon in his team?

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Jacob Gijy

400 articles

Jacob Gijy is an NBA writer at EssentiallySports. Gijy finished his Masters in Counselling Psychology and worked in a hospital for 2 years before his passion for sports compelled him to find his way to sports journalism. A fan of the great Tim Duncan, he is always ready to pick up a debate with anyone who does not offer the centre the respect he deserves.

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