Arsenal have confirmed the arrival of midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht on a permanent deal.
Gunners boss Mikel Arteta has been keen to add some new faces in midfield and club scouts quickly set their sights on Sambi Lokonga, who had been a regular at Anderlecht for a few years and ended this past season with the captain’s armband.
Confirmation of the deal was accidentally tweeted by Anderlecht, who swiftly deleted their post moments later, but Arsenal have since taken to their official website to confirm Sambi Lokonga’s move once and for all, announcing he will join up with his new teammates once out of isolation.
There’s no mention of the fee involved, although previous reports have suggested Arsenal have parted with an initial £15m and agreed to potentially shell out a further £3m in add-ons.
Arteta told the club’s website: “Albert is a very intelligent player who has shown great maturity in his performances during his development. He has been coached well by Vincent Kompany and his team at Anderlecht. I know Vincent very well and he talks so highly about Albert and the positive impact he had to Anderlecht in recent seasons. We’re confident Albert’s ready for the next stage in his development and we’re looking forward to welcoming a new member to our squad with his quality and presence.”
He becomes Arsenal’s second signing of the summer, following the arrival of Portuguese left-back Nuno Tavares, who sealed an £7m move to the Emirates Stadium earlier in the window.
The Gunners aren’t finished here. They have already struck a £50m deal for Brighton and Hove Albion centre-back Ben White, and there are also plans to add a second new midfielder to the squad to replace Granit Xhaka, who is in talks over a move to Roma.
The next new face could be an expensive arrival, with the likes of Lyon’s Houssem Aouar, Wolves’ Ruben Neves and and AZ Alkmaar’s Teun Koopmeiners all rumoured to cost around the £30m mark.