Arsenal Transfer News: Midfielder arrival 'to be confirmed next week'

Mikel Arteta on the sidelines for Arsenal amid speculation over a move for Lokonga

According to journalist Pete O’Rourke, Arsenal could announce the signing of Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga next week.

What’s the latest transfer news involving Albert Sambi Lokonga?

Fabrizio Romano recently claimed that Arsenal have agreed a fee of €17.5m (£15m) plus add ons for Anderlecht midfielder Lokonga.

The journalist suggested that Arsenal have been in agreement with the Belgian club since Tuesday and are now preparing the final details of the transfer.

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What has Pete O’Rourke said about Lokonga to Arsenal?

Journalist O’Rourke claims that Lokonga is keen to move to Arsenal and suggests that he could become a key player for Mikel Arteta in the future.

Speaking on The Football Terrace, O’Rourke said, “Lokonga, the Anderlecht midfielder is really keen on this move as well. He hasn’t travelled with Anderlecht on their pre-season training camp to Holland. He’s waiting for the green light to go ahead and travel to London and do his medical.

“Lokonga has real potential to become a key player for Arsenal in the future. He maybe wont be a starter straight away for Mikel Arteta’s side but he’s had a good couple of seasons at Anderlecht.”

O’Rourke also suggested that the deal could be concluded by next week. He said, “Probably next week we’ll get this deal finally confirmed and done and have Lokonga as an Arsenal player.”

Check out what O’Rourke said in full about Lokonga in the video below…

Another youngster for Mikel Arteta to work his magic on?

Despite Arsenal’s poor eighth place league position this season, there is no doubt that Arteta was able to get the very best out of the Gunners’ youngsters.

Emile Smith-Rowe emerged as one of Arsenal’s better players in the Premier League this term; according to WhoScored, no player in the squad averaged more key passes per game than the 20-year-old with 1.4. He also netted four league goals and registered two assists in the 2020/21 campaign.

Bukayo Saka is another young talent that Arteta has worked his magic on. The 19-year-old completed more dribbles than any Arsenal player in England’s top flight this season and WhoScored rank him as the third best performer for the Gunners with 6.88.

Let’s see if Lokonga can go on to flourish in a similar manner under Arteta.

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Is Belgian football a good recruitment pool? 

Apparently so.

There have been numerous examples of young Belgian players moving to the Premier League and excelling in recent seasons.

Romelu Lukaku made a name for himself in the 2012/13 league campaign when he was on loan from Chelsea at West Brom. The forward notched 17 goals for the Baggies that season and went on to play for Everton and Manchester United later in his career.

Former Anderlecht prodigy and Leicester City midfielder Youri Tielemans is another Belgian who has impressed at a young age in the Premier League. In his debut campaign he made seven goal contributions in 13 games and achieved a WhoScored rating of 7.14.

This bodes well for Arsenal next term and they will hope that Lokonga can have a similar impact to his compatriots listed above.

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