OFFICIAL: Arsenal complete €21m Sambi Lokonga signing
Arsenal have completed the signing of Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga on a five-year contract.
The Gunners have been linked with the young Belgian all summer, and have now finally got the deal over the line as Mikel Arteta completes his second major signing of the window.
Arsenal are splashing out an initial €17.5 million (£15m) for the 21-year-old, with the fee potentially rising another €3.5m with bonuses.
Sambi Lokonga will sign a deal until 2026 at the Emirates.
He made 69 appearances for Anderlecht since debuting in 2017, scoring three goals.
He also found the back of the net twice in six appearances for the Belgium under-21 national team, earning his first call-up to the senior side in March of this year.
𝗟𝗼𝗸ed and loaded 🔒 pic.twitter.com/teIKur1gPA— Arsenal (@Arsenal) July 19, 2021
What position does Sambi Lokonga play in?
Sambi Lokonga is primarily a deep-lying playmaker or a ball-winning midfielder and he will be able to fill a number of holes in Arteta’s squad in the coming season.
Arsenal have been searching for a central midfielder this summer, as Granit Xhaka is expected to depart in order to join Jose Mourinho at Roma. Arsenal have already sent Matteo Guendouzi on loan to Marseille, while Lucas Torreira is up for sale.
The Gunners have also been in negotiations with Sassuolo to sign Manuel Locatelli, but the player prefers a transfer to his boyhood club Juventus.
What is Sambi Lokonga's Arsenal squad number?
Sambi Lokonga has been handed the No.23 shirt by the Gunners.
On the back of his jersey, he will be known simply as Sambi.
When will Sambi Lokonga make his debut?
Arsenal were keen to wrap up a deal for Sambi Lokonga before their pre-season tour of Scotland, but that wasn't possible.
The Gunners have had two friendlies already against Hibernian and Rangers.
The Premier League season begins on 13 August, with Arsenal facing a short trip across London to face Brentford – a match in which Sambi Lokonga, who has been monitored by Belgium head coach Roberto Martinez, will be hoping to make his competitive debut for the club.
Sambi Lokonga is of Congolese descent and his brother Paul-Jose M’Poku is also a professional footballer who previously was on Tottenham Hotspur’s books.
Arsenal have already signed Nuno Tavares from Benfica for €10m as cover for Kieran Tierney at left-back.