Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga has labelled the Gunners as “legendary” despite their Premier League woes over recent seasons.
The north London outfit have not finished inside the Premier League top four since the 2015/16 campaign – when they finished second – and also missed out on European football for the first time since 1995 last term under Mikel Arteta, having finished eighth for the second season in a row.
Despite that, midfielder Sambi Lokonga, who joined from Belgian outfit Anderlecht this summer, assures that the Gunners retain their status as one of the biggest clubs in English football.
In an interview with Sport, the 21-year-old said: “Without laughing, it [Arsenal] is a legendary club.
“Of course, there is the reality of the moment, but there is also all the weight of history behind it. They told me that they wanted to form a good team, to find Europe again next season and more generally to start again on new bases after a complicated season.
“I immediately wanted to participate in the reconstruction of this club. Because for me, even in crisis, Arsenal remains Arsenal.”
Since arriving in the summer as part of a £150m transfer investment, Lokonga has been handed a few opportunities by Arteta having made six appearances in all competitions.
The Gunners of course endured a tricky start to the campaign having lost their opening three matches to leave them bottom of the Premier League table.
The Belgian international has been fully appreciative of his start as an Arsenal player though and is thankful for how welcome he has been made to feel in the opening few months in north London.
He continued: “There are always apprehensions when you sign for a new club. But I must say that in this case, and despite the difficult start to the season that the club has had, I was immediately treated to a rather incredible reception. From the players as well as the staff and managers. Which helped me feel at ease straight away.”