While the European Championship keeps stealing the spotlight, things are still happening outside of the biggest European football event of the year. Namely, the transfer season is in full force, with everyone from VietVwin to ESPN speculating on which player goes where – and for how much.
This transfer season, Arsenal is in need of a midfielder, as Dani Ceballos has returned to Real Madrid and Granit Xhaka is expected to move to Roma. The Gunners will need fresh blood to support Partey and Elneny – this means that at least one, maybe two midfielders may be on their way to Emirates Stadium in the coming weeks. And one of them may be Belgian player Albert Sambi Lokonga.
Born and raised in Brussels, Lokonga started his professional career in 2014 with Anderlecht in 2014, as a youth, having later played with the U17, U19, and U21 national teams. He is yet to be capped for the Belgium senior national team.
Lokonga has become a regular with Anderlecht over the years. In the 2020-2021 Belgian First Division A season, he appeared in 33 games with the team and scored three times in the process.
According to the press, the Gunners already made an offer for the 21-year-old midfielder earlier this month – a £13.5 million bid reportedly rejected by the Belgian side. Apparently, Anderlecht would prefer an amount closer to £18 million. The negotiations are still underway, so there is a good chance for Lokonga to move to the Emirates Stadium this summer.
One thing is certain: Lokonga wants to move to Arsenal. He has reportedly made a personal agreement with the Gunners – it’s now up to the two clubs to reach a mutually beneficial agreement for his move to be completed. And, according to journalists from dhnet.be, an agreement is closer than ever.
Other players incoming
Aside from midfielders, Arsenal is in need of many other key players to strengthen their ranks – but on a limited budget. The Gunners are reportedly looking for a new goalkeeper as a backup for Leno (possible targets include Andre Onana and Mat Ryan), defender (Ben White is top of the list), another midfielder (like Ruben Neves), and possibly forward (Alassane Plea an option).
Due to the tight budget, the club may have to sell some players to afford the new signings: Eddie Nketiah may leave for Watford, Lacazette may be let go with just one year left on his contract, and Hector Bellerin leaving if the right suitor steps up.