Albert Sambi Lokonga joins Arsenal from Anderlecht
- Credit: PA/Nick Potts
Arsenal have completed the signing of midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht for a reported fee of £15 million plus add-ons.
The 21-year-old Belgian has joined on a five-year deal until 2026.
The midfielder made 37 appearances for Anderlecht last season, picking up three goals and three assists. He was made captain for several games by manager Vincent Kompany.
The Belgian spent his entire career at Anderlecht prior to joining Arsenal, rising in the youth system before playing in the senior team at 17. He has also had eight caps in the Belgian youth teams.
Lokonga comes in to bolster the Arsenal midfield, with Granit Xhaka rumoured to be leaving the club as Mikel Arteta continues to overhaul his side in order to push for European places next season.
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Lokonga stands six feet tall and represents a more mobile option than Xhaka in the middle of the park. He is adept at carrying the ball and turning out of pressure, similarly to potential midfield partner Thomas Partey.
Arsenal are expected to pursue another option in midfield during this window to help fill the gap left by the loss Dani Ceballos and potentially Xhaka.
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It marks Arsenal’s second senior signing of the summer after left back Nuno Tavares joined the club last week.
On the departures front, both Matteo Guendouzi and William Saliba have joined Marseille on loan for the year, without options to buy.
Guendouzi spent last season out on loan at Hertha Berlin following a number of disciplinary issues with Mikel Arteta. The French midfielder made 24 appearances in Germany last season but has been unable to reignite his relationship with the Arsenal boss upon his return.
William Saliba spent the second half of the season on loan in Nice after a troubled time in North London last summer due to the pandemic. It was suggested that Saliba may have stayed at Arsenal to fight for his place in pre-season but at 20 years old regular first team football became the priority.
Brighton's Ben White is expected to be Arsenal’s next target coming in.