Anderlecht starlet Albert Sambi Lokonga is set to be officially unveiled as an Arsenal player at the end of his quarantine period, after the two clubs completed all the paperwork on a transfer to the Emirates Stadium.
The Gunners have been working on this deal for some time, having seen an opening bid of £13m rejected by the Belgian side. But Anderlecht have accepted an offer of €17.5m plus add-ons for the midfielder, who has signed a contract with the north London club that runs until June 2026.
Fabrizio Romano reports that the only thing missing in the deal is the official announcement, which will arrive once Lokonga has completed his period of quarantine, after flying from Belgium to England.
Arsenal will be pleased to have got this deal over the line, as they were forced to fend off interest from two clubs in Italy for the young Anderlecht star. Coach Vincent Kompany has spotted plenty of potential in the midfielder, handing him the captain’s armband, despite his 21 years of age.
Lokonga has impressed since becoming a regular in the Anderlecht side, featuring 27 times in the Jupiler Pro League last season. He became captain midway through the 2020/21 campaign, and has caught the eye with his all-action style.
The youngster’s arrival only adds to the Gunners’ plans to revolutionise their squad for the upcoming season, as Mikel Arteta is determined to see an overhaul in his midfield options. Matteo Guendouzi has left north London for Marseille, Dani Ceballos and Martin Odegaard have returned to Real Madrid, and Granit Xhaka is expected to depart in the summer transfer window amid interest from AS Roma.
Those sales would hand Lokonga the chance to impress Arteta over the summer and force his way into Arsenal’s starting lineup, as he continues to go from strength to strength.