Arsenal are poised to sign Anderlecht midfielder Albert Lokonga, recently negotiating with Benfica left-back Nuno Tavares.
A little about Albert Lokonga
The 21-year-old Belgian is due to undergo a medical examination before completing his move to Emirates Stadium, after Arsenal agreed in principle on a deal worth up to £ 18 million. Albert Lokonga was born in Brussels, the capital of Belgium, on October 22, 1999. Albert joined the Anderlecht youth system in 2014 before signing his first professional contract with the club in November 2017, debuting on December 22 of that year in a 1-0 league win over Eupen.
Lokonga became the team’s first player in the 2019-20 season, playing 26 matches in all competitions for Anderlecht before the Belgian First League season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic. In 2020-21, Albert Lokonga made 37 senior appearances and scored three goals, including his first senior hit, which came in a 1-1 draw against Eupen – again – on September 27. Anderlecht finished fourth in the table to qualify for next season’s Europa League – which means they are playing continental football next season, something Arsenal won’t.
Albert Lokonga cost
Arsenal have agreed to an initial fee, which is believed to be around £ 15m for Albert Lokonga. This is a fee that will increase, however, due to several additions that will be included in the final deal. Overall, Arsenal are expected to pay nearly £ 18m for the young midfielder if these additions and bonuses are met.
Arsenal’s interest in Albert Lokonga
Arsenal see Albert Lokonga as a player of great potential and fit the profile of the type of player the club is looking to recruit this summer, according to an Arsenal correspondent. At just 21 years old and only playing in Belgium, Albert is not expected to enter and become an instant replacement for Roma-linked Granit Xhaka, but he will still get a lot of playing time as he adjusts to the demands of the Premier League. With Guendouzi joining Marseille, Dani Ceballos returning to Madrid and Torreira looking forward to leaving, Arsenal are well aware of the need to strengthen their midfield this summer.
Albert Lokonga will do just that and will look to put pressure on Thomas Partey and whoever will be brought in to replace Xhaka in center midfield as the season progresses.