Albert Sambi Lokonga is close to joining Arsenal from Belgian side Anderlecht, with the player said to already have agreed personal terms over a proposed move to the Gunners.
Lokonga Poised to Sign for Arsenal From Anderlecht
The Belgian Youngster is Set to Become Arsenal’s First Signing of the Summer
Per Chris Wheatley, Lokonga is intent on joining Arsenal, with the 21-year-old ready to make the move to the Premier League.
Wheatley stated that, although there is optimism from all sides that a deal can be reached, the two clubs are yet to reach an agreement on a fee for Lokonga, after Anderlecht rejected Arsenal’s first offer of €15 million (£12.9 million).
Having impressed throughout the course of the 2020/21 season in the Belgian First Division A, Lokonga was rewarded with a maiden call-up to the senior Belgian national team in March, after representing his country at age-group level.
Following a second successive eighth-placed finish in the Premier League under Mikel Arteta, and the prospect of no European football for the time in 25 years, a successful summer window will be vital for Arsenal if they are to make a serious challenge for the top four.
With Martin Odegaard and Dani Ceballos returning to Real Madrid after the end of their respective loan spells, Arteta has identified the central midfield as a key area to target in the transfer market.
The Gunners have already lost out to Aston Villa in the race for playmaker Emiliano Buendia, who joined the Midlands side for £30 million earlier this month. Arsenal are also in negotiations with Roma over the sale of Granit Xhaka, but the north London side are reportedly reluctant to let the Swiss international go for any less than £20 million.
Whilst the Arsenal fanbase is divided on whether Xhaka should be a regular starter for the club, few would be likely to question the signing of Lokonga. A young, energetic box-to-box midfielder, Lokonga’s presence would certainly satisfy Arteta’s desire for more urgency in an Arsenal outfit that managed only 55 goals in 38 league matches last term.
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