Anderlecht have announced that Craig Bellamy will leave his role as Vincent Kompany's assistant coach to deal with mental health problems. 

Bellamy, who talked extensively about his long battle with depression last year, had been part of the Anderlecht coaching staff since 2019. 

The 42-year-old has been working as former Manchester City team-mate Kompany's right-hand man since earlier this year, but he will officially step aside on Monday. 

A statement on Anderlecht's website on Sunday read: "Assistant coach Craig Bellamy will leave the coaching staff of RSC Anderlecht on Monday.  

"Bellamy already struggled with mental problems in the past and these have resurfaced again recently.  

"With his departure, the Brit took a very difficult, but absolutely necessary decision concerning his health.  

"Bellamy said goodbye to the players in the dressing room on Sunday afternoon after the 7-2 victory against KV Mechelen." 

Former Wales international Bellamy retired from football in 2014 following a second spell with hometown club Cardiff City. 

He moved into coaching with Cardiff at academy level before departing in January 2019 and taking up a similar position with Anderlecht. 

Following the news of Bellamy's departure, Kompany added: "Craig has long struggled with his mental health. Now the monster is back there.  

"Health is above football. We are obligated to give him the chance to get well." 

Vincent Kompany says he is humbled after Manchester City unveiled a permanent statue of their former captain at the Etihad Stadium.

Kompany and ex team-mate David Silva have been honoured for their remarkable services to the club with large-scale statues on the east side of the stadium.

Created by sculptor Andy Scott, they were constructed using thousands of welded pieces of galvanised steel, and will be specially illuminated with blue-tinted lighting.

After joining from Hamburg in August 2008, Kompany made 320 appearances during 11 years with City, scoring 20 goals.

The Belgian captained the club to four Premier League titles – including their first top-flight success in 44 years in 2012 – as well as four EFL Cups and the 2019 FA Cup.

Kompany, now the Anderlecht boss, is honoured by the recognition he has received.

"I didn't really expect to be recognised by such a great club in that way," he told City's official website.

"My wife is from Manchester, my kids are born in Manchester, and they go back to a place where they can see something that represents what their Dad has achieved and that is something that I can't describe.

"The first time I saw the statue, I couldn't believe how big it was, but then again, I'm a big boy, so fair enough!

"And then especially the pose, for me it means a lot."

He later added on Twitter: "So grateful, humbled and at the same time sad I couldn't be there today. I am dedicating every minute I have to @rscanderlecht.

"I promise I'll be back to visit as soon as I can. Meanwhile, keep the pigeons away from those arms."

Manchester City will unveil statues of former players Vincent Kompany and David Silva ahead of Saturday's Premier League fixture against Arsenal with another of Sergio Aguero to follow in 2022.

The trio have been key players during City's emergence as a football superpower and played crucial roles on the pitch.

Kompany, now head coach of Anderlecht, captained City to the Premier League title in 2011-12, their first English league championship in 44 years.

The Belgian won three more in 2013–14, 2017–18, 2018–19 in addition to two FA Cups and four League Cups.

Aguero, who left City at the end of last season and joined Barcelona, is City's all-time leading goalscorer with 260 goals.

The most famous of the Argentina striker's goals dramatically delivered that first Premier League title with virtually the last kick of the game against QPR.

Spanish midfielder Silva, now at Real Socieded, was also instrumental in City's success and made 436 appearances in all competitions for the club between 2010 and 2020.

Award-winning sculptor Andy Scott was the artist commissioned to create the statues on behalf of City.

City chairman Khaldoon Al Mubarak said the decision to honour the three players was based on their unparalleled contribution to the club's transformation.

He told City's website: "Ultimately, Vincent and David do not need statues to enshrine their achievements at Manchester City over the past decade. They are already revered as icons of their generation.

"But what these artworks give us, and generations to come, is the opportunity to be reminded of, and savour, the truly magical moments created by both men.”

Al Mubarak has since indicated that further work is being undertaken to ensure the legends of earlier eras are appropriately celebrated.

Scott added: "On hearing that I had secured the commission to bring Vincent, David and now Sergio to life in sculpture form, I was absolutely thrilled.

"It's an unbelievable honour to work on something that will be visited by hundreds of thousands of fans as they remember and celebrate the achievement of their footballing heroes."

Albert Sambi Lokonga's football intelligence can be a huge asset to Arsenal after the Belgium Under-21 international won the admiration of a Premier League great.

Mikel Arteta made Lokonga his second signing of the close season on Monday - the Gunners wrapping up a deal reported to be worth an initial £15million with Anderlecht.

Lokonga was coached by Vincent Kompany at Anderlecht and Arteta, who worked with the ex-Manchester City captain when he was part of Pep Guardiola's staff, did the expected background work on the highly rated midfielder.

"Albert is a very intelligent player who has shown great maturity in his performances during his development," Arteta told his club's official website.

"He has been coached well by Vincent Kompany and his team at Anderlecht. I know Vincent very well and he talks so highly about Albert and the positive impact he had to Anderlecht in recent seasons.

"We're confident Albert's ready for the next stage in his development and we’re looking forward to welcoming a new member to our squad with his quality and presence."

Lokonga made his Belgian Pro League debut in December 2017 and Opta statistics from his performances since then measure up well to those produced by Arsenal players over the same period.

Noted for his ability to play in front of the defence, the 21-year-old made 115 tackles and won 77 in 69 league appearances.

Somewhat predictably, Granit Xhaka is the only Arsenal player to have racked up more – 195 tackles and 114 won – during this time, although the Switzerland star did so over 111 games.

Lucas Torreira, who spent last season on loan at Atletico Madrid, perhaps provides a better point of comparison. In 63 Premier League games for the Gunners, the combative Uruguay international made 98 tackles and won 70.

Of Arsenal outfield players to have featured in 30 or more league games since December 2017, only the now departed Shkodran Mustafi (64.29 per cent) has a better duel success rate than Lokonga (60.7).

Overall, he has won possession 414 times – again a figure only bettered by Xhaka on 746, with Torriera (327) off the pace set by the new signing.

Lokonga is also accomplished in possession, with 86.1 per cent passing accuracy and 67 chances created in the top-flight for Anderlecht suggesting he is not afraid of operating in a progressive manner on the ball.

Xhaka, while continuing to bear in mind his greater game time, has made 94 key passes during the time in question, with attackers Alexandre Lacazette and Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang the only other current Arsenal players to have supplied more.

Manchester City defender Taylor Harwood-Bellis has joined Anderlecht on a season-long loan.

The 19-year-old is linking up with former City captain Vincent Kompany, who is preparing for his second full season in charge as coach at Lotto Park.

Kompany successfully called on his former club for help last term, taking Lukas Nmecha on a temporary deal spanning the 2020-21 campaign.

The German went on to score 18 goals in 37 league appearances over the course of his stay in Belgium.

Now the hope will be that Harwood-Bellis, who spent the back half of last season in the Championship with Blackburn Rovers, can make a similar positive impact.

The teenager, who joined City's academy at the age of six, has made senior appearances for the club so far.

On his arrival, Anderlecht sporting director Peter Verbeke said: "Taylor is a young central defender who already plays with a lot of personality and maturity.

"His training at City, together with experience in the Championship, makes him a player who is good on the ball and who has a lot of aggressivity and audacity."

Manchester City are not ready to put a date on Sergio Aguero's return to action, yet Pep Guardiola expects the club's record goalscorer to "help us in the decisive moments" this season.

Aguero underwent meniscus surgery last June and then saw a hamstring injury hamper his initial comeback in October.

These issues have limited the 32-year-old to just nine appearances in all competitions this season, which have yielded two goals.

Aguero also had to self-isolate earlier in January when he was set for an outing in the FA Cup and last week revealed he had tested positive for coronavirus.

Into the final six months of his City contract, Guardiola is keen to have Aguero back available, although he detailed how the striker was laid low by the effects of COVID-19.

"The important thing is when we text him during the first three, four days, he struggled, he felt so tired, but today he sent a message to the backroom staff to say he feels much better," Guardiola said ahead of Tuesday's trip to West Brom.

"Now he needs to test negative and abide by the protocols, and then start to come back here and move and see how he feels, day by day.

"I cannot tell you [when he will be back], I don't know how he will react in the first days when we start to train."

There have been only three starts for Aguero this term, with his pitch time a meagre 260 minutes overall.

The Argentina international has scored with both of his shots in the Champions League but failed to register in the Premier League, having four efforts across five outings and passing up a big chance with his only shot on target against Newcastle United.

A contract extension remains on the agenda, though, and Guardiola sees Aguero rediscovering the scoring touch that has so far brought 256 goals in 316 games for City, netting with 19 per cent of his attempts.

"I don't know when he is coming back, February or March, but I'm so optimistic that he will give us until the end of the season some good, good months," Guardiola said. "I'm so optimistic.

"He is going to help us in the decisive moments, to give us the goals and the difference that we need. I'm so confident it's going to happen."

In 2018-19, as Vincent Kompany entered the final months of his contract, the former City captain put long-term injury troubles behind him to play a key role in their most recent title success.

Guardiola was asked if the plan was for Aguero to have a similar impact and replied: "Hopefully. Hopefully it's going to happen.

"But at the same time, Vincent had an incredible quality; after being two months injured in the gym, he can go out and play one training session and play incredibly well.

"Sergio doesn't know if he has this quality to immediately go out and do it. He needs the special sharpness and the first steps for this quality to score a goal, but it depends on him.

"At the end, we'll see him in the training session and on the pitch and it's easy to realise if he's fit or not.

"But hopefully he can help us with the special quality he has. That's why he is one of the best strikers ever - not just in England, all the time in football history."

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