Mikel Arteta has hailed Albert Sambi Lokonga’s performance in Arsenal’s goalless draw with Brighton on Saturday.
The Gunners struggled to follow up last week’s win in the north London derby with a second victory as Brighton defended well and also had the better chances to take the lead.
Lokonga, meanwhile, started alongside Thomas Partey in the absence of Granit Xhaka, who is sidelined with a knee injury.
And Arteta was impressed with the 21-year-old’s display at the Amex Stadium.
When asked to give his verdict on Lokonga’s performance, Arteta replied: ‘I think he did really well.
‘I think he had one of the best performances of the players on the pitch. He shows a lot of character and all the time good positions.
‘I think his defensive work and understanding is getting better. It was a really difficult game because it was all the time one-on-one duels in the middle of the pitch and it’s not the game that really suits him the most.
‘But I think considering the circumstances he did really well.’
When asked if he felt the defensive partnership between Gabriel and Ben White is developing quicker than he thought it would, Arteta said: ‘Yes, because they never played together, because Gabi is still struggling a little bit with the language, because they didn’t have any time to work together in pre-season either.
‘But they’re getting a really good connection. Good chemistry.
‘I think their qualities match and complement each other really, really well and I think both of them today were terrific.’