Fabrizio Romano has reported that Crystal Palace are in talks to sign Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga on loan until the end of the season. The midfielder has found playing time hard to come by this season, and Arsenal’s reported signing of Jorginho will likely see it diminish even more.
Albert Sambi Lokonga In Potential Move to Crystal Palace from Arsenal
Crystal Palace are interest in Albert Sambi Lokonga, talks are taking place on potential loan deal until June 🚨🔵🔴 #CPFC
Final decision up to Arsenal and the player. pic.twitter.com/ozc6lyDoN6
— Fabrizio Romano (@FabrizioRomano) January 31, 2023
Albert Sambi Lokonga’s Arsenal Story So Far
Lokonga moved to Arsenal from Belgian side RSC Anderlecht in 2021 for a reported £15 million, but since completing the move, the Belgian has struggled for regular minutes. He has played just 39 matches in all competitions since joining. That includes just two league starts this season, with four appearances from the bench.
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Lokonga has struggled to start ahead of Martin Odegaard, Thomas Partey, and Granit Xhaka and the 23-year-old appears to have become more frustrated this season. This was visible for all to see as Arsenal lost 1-0 away to Manchester City in the FA Cup. Footage showed the midfielder storming down the tunnel and failing to thank the travelling fans.
Albert Sambi Lokonga was the first Arsenal player down the tunnel after the full-time whistle in the loss to Manchester City tonight, failing to acknowledge the travelling away fans. [@ClockEndH] #afc pic.twitter.com/kvE6hOSFJ0
— afcstuff (@afcstuff) January 27, 2023
Jorginho Signing Complicates Matters
Albert Sambi Lokonga also seemingly does not have Arteta’s trust either, with Arsenal looking to sign a midfielder this January to help them challenge for the Premier League title.
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The Gunners have had two bids for Moises Caicedo rejected. Today, Romano reported that the North London club had agreed on a fee with Chelsea for the transfer of Jorginho which means that Lokonga will find minutes at Arsenal even harder to come by. Palace’s offer and the prospect of more regular playing time could therefore appeal to the player.
Why Palace Are Interested in Albert Sambi Lokonga
Crystal Palace’s interest in Albert Sambi Lokonga comes as no surprise. The club have been looking to sign a midfielder this January and were interested in resigning Chelsea midfielder Conor Gallagher.
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Palace manager Patrick Vieira’s connections with Arsenal are likely to help in the signing of the player. And Lokonga’s passing ability will be of use to a club that could use a creator in midfield alongside Eberechi Eze.
The Eagles have failed to win any of their last five games, with their last victory coming against AFC Bournemouth on New Year’s Eve. They are seven points above the relegation zone, and Vieira will hope that the signing of Lokonga can help prevent a relegation battle.