Arsenal’s opening bid for Belgian midfielder rejected
Arsenal have had a bid for Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga rejected as per a report from Belgian outlet Het Laatste Nieuws(HLN).
The 21-year-old impressed with a series of good performances in 2020/21 which saw him being called up to the Belgium national team. The Brussels native plays in the centre of midfield and can be deployed in a more defensive role if needed.
According to the report from HLN, the north London club made an offer of €15m that included bonuses. This was rejected by the Belgian giants as it was lower than the fee they were looking for. Anderlecht would want a guaranteed sum of around €20m as the Gunners are not the only club looking at Lokonga.
The report states that teams from Germany and France are also interested in the midfielder and should a bidding war emerge, it will increase the asking price.
Signing the 21-year-old would be a smart bit of business. The youngster is starting to establish himself and this would be a good time to get the player to England. Central midfield is an area where the Emirates club need some reinforcements. With Granit Xhaka close to leaving, the club needs to find a replacement.
In the Belgian, the Gunners have selected a player who is able to glide past defenders and play the right pass. The latter attribute is important when looking to break down teams that are defensive. A combination of pace and technique make Lokonga suited to the Premier League. And at the Emirates Stadium, he will be able to learn from Thomas Partey which will certainly improve the youngster’s game.
Moving quickly in the transfer market would benefit the north Londoners as there is interest from other clubs. The valuation difference between the clubs is not too far and that is a good thing. Arsenal have a chance to wrap up their first signing of the summer. In Lokonga, they could have a young talent that has the potential to become a great player.