Mikel Arteta’s Arsenal has made its second signing official this Monday for the 2021-2022 season. This is Albert Sambi Lokonga, a 21-year-old Belgian midfielder whom he incorporates “with a long-term contract” from Anderlecht. The young player has already participated today in his first training session with the ‘gunners’.
Although both clubs have not provided more details, the transfer amounts to 17.4 million euros but can reach 22 by adding the variables.
A figure that makes Sambi Lokonga the fourth most expensive signing in the history of a Belgian league player, only behind Jéremy Doku, whose transfer from Anderlecht to Rennes cost 26 million; Youri Telemans, who left the same team on his way to Monaco for 25 million; and Marouante Fellaini, who left Standard de Liège for 21.7 million to join Everton.
Anderlecht has thanked the young midfielder on its website for the work of the young midfielder during the 12 years in which he has been part of the club’s discipline, from the lower categories until his debut in the first team in 2017.
For his part, Lokonga claims to feel “proud” for the new step in his career, but also “sad” for leaving Anderlecht.
“I want to thank you all for the love I always received here. I will be a ‘mauve’ all my life,” he declared on the club’s official website, alluding to the club’s color.
For his part, MIkel Arteta stated on the Arsenal website that “Albert is a very intelligent player who has shown great maturity in his performances during his progression. Vincent Kompany and his team have trained him well at Anderlecht “
Lokonga, a right-handed and versatile midfielder skilled in the long pass, did not enter Belgium coach Roberto Martínez’s list of 26 summoned for the Eurocup, but he was part of the group of possible substitutes that the coach called to train before offering the definitive list.
His progression at Anderlecht
He stood out in the 2020-2021 season by playing 26 games in all competitions and last season, his fourth as a professional, Lokonga played 37 games, scored 3 goals and gave 3 assists.
Lokonga is Arsenal’s second signing after 21-year-old Portuguese left-back Nuno Tavares signed from Benfica.