Arsenal seal £18m move for Albert Sambi Lokonga before jetting out to Florida for US camp as club confirm Anderlecht star will wear No 23 shirt
- Anderlecht midfielder Lokonga, aged just 21, is a Belgium Under-21 international
- The Brussels-born star of Congolese descent is now confirmed to be a Gunner
- Lokonga could play alongside Ghanaian Thomas Partey in a powerful midfield
- Mikel Arteta hoped to confirm the deal before the club fly out on Wednesday
Arsenal have officially sealed the £18million transfer of Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht on a ‘long-term contract’.
The Brussels-born star of Congolese descent is now confirmed as a Gunners player after his switch from Belgian side Anderlecht was confirmed on Monday.
Lokonga, 21, is now set to join his new team-mates after completing isolation rules, and is set to jet out to Florida on Wednesday for the club’s preparations for the new season.
Arsenal have sealed the £18m signing of Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga (above)
Manager Mikel Arteta said: ‘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.’
Central midfielder Lokonga, 21, has joined on what the Gunners called a ‘long-term contract’
The North London side revealed on Twitter he will wear the number 23 on the back of his shirt
Arsenal’s tweeted reacting to the signing, with the caption ‘Loked and loaded,’ followed by the announcement of his new squad number 23 and pictures of him in the new club strip.
Promising, dynamic central midfielder Lokonga could form a powerful partnership with Ghanaian Thomas Partey in Arteta’s engine room.
The Belgium Under-21 international, broke through at Belgian First Division A side Anderlecht, making his debut in December 2017, and played 37 times in all competitions last season, scoring three goals.
Manager Mikel Arteta described him as ‘a very intelligent player who has shown great maturity’
Arteta is clearly keen to overhaul his midfield, with Matteo Guendouzi sent out on loan to Marseille, Granit Xhaka reportedly close to a Roma move and uncertainty over the futures of Joe Willock, Lucas Torreira, Mo Elneny and Ainsley Maitland-Niles.
Technical director Edu added: ‘We are delighted Albert has signed, as there was a lot of interest in him and he was a big target. Albert is a player we’ve been tracking for some time, and he will bring us strength in depth in the centre of midfield.’
However, the impending £50m signing of Brighton centre back Ben White is set to be completed after his post-Euro 2020 holiday, meaning he will join after the club are back from their pre-season camp across the pond.