According to reports, Arsenal have submitted a formal bid to sign Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga. The Gunners were linked to the Belgian previously, but no official offer was put forward. This time around, Lokonga is believed to be one of Arteta’s main targets to bolster his squad and Arsenal followed it up with a concrete offer.
Mikel Arteta is under no illusions. While other clubs can spend £80m on a single player, the Spaniard will probably have to do his entire transfer business for that. The Gunners have to shop within their means and sell players before buying them and unless the Kroenke’s put their hands in their pocket, that’s probably how this transfer window will play out.
It’s apparent just how far Arsenal have fallen, having lost out on their main midfield target Emi Buendia to Aston Villa, even though they offered more money. The Argentinian might have thought Villa provided him with a better opportunity and that underlines Arsenal’s problems in this window and at least another two to come.
Arsenal are now perceived as a second-tier side and all this nonsense about the club still being able to pull in the biggest players on the strength of their past glories is complete and utter bollocks. If you can’t tempt a player or his club by offering more money, then you are definitely at a place that suggests you may have to cast your net far wider than expected and aim at a group of players who may or may not emerge as world-class players at Championship prices.
Yet, it appears that Arsenal won’t even do the deals at that level, often undercutting the price tag of the parent club by somewhere between £2m or more. Where’s the sense in it? It’s becoming slightly uncomfortable and it’s not just the heat of this glorious summer that is making it that way. Ok, there are the Euros to contend with but as Villa illustrated, deals can still be cut when there’s a will to make them.
Arsenal and Edu are now looking at Albert Sambi Lokonga (Anderlecht) and James Maddison (Leicester), but let’s focus on the young Belgian (21). Apparently, a bid from the Gunners has been declined because it doesn’t meet the valuation (no surprise there), it’s another case of Arsenal going in cheap rather than showing genuine desire to acquire their top targets.
🎯 Arsenal target Albert Sambi Lokonga averaged more passes per game than any other player in the Jupiler Pro League last season (63.3)
💪 21 years old and already running matches. Oh and he finished the season as Anderlecht captain pic.twitter.com/qP5isY9ThS
— WhoScored.com (@WhoScored) June 15, 2021
Arsenal have opened negotiations with a bid of €15million (£12.9m), but it’s going to take at least €20m (£17.2m) to get the lad’s signature. Assuming the deal eventually crawls across the line, Arsenal are getting quite a prospect for their money.
Interest in Albert Sambi Lokonga implies that Arsenal are not willing to meet the price for Brighton’s Yves Bissouma, who is now reported to be a target for Liverpool. But before you get too frustrated, the Gunners’ new target has an excellent range of skills including his ability to retain the ball and push forward.
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He has superb balance and two very quick feet plus an eye for a quality pass. If Arsenal should push the deal through it will be potentially a very good deal but only if they get it across the line which they continuously seem unable to do.
Go on to YouTube and take a look and I think you’ll be quite impressed, but it could be yet another case of the player’s ability to settle, something that has proved difficult for a host of players arriving in North London including Partey, Willian and Pepe.
Sit back and strap in, this could be a long transfer journey. Stay tuned!
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