Arsenal have completed and confirmed the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht, for a fee which reportedly amounts to around €17.5 million (£15m), with an addition of €4.5m to be paid later through add-ons.
The midfielder joined Anderlecht’s academy at the age of 15 and rose through the ranks quickly, earning a place in the first team in 2018. Between then and now, Lokonga made a total of 78 appearances in all competitions for the Belgian club, scoring three goals and assisting seven. Lokonga also represented Belgium at different youth levels, but for the senior side he’s been called up just once and remained an unused substitute.
“We are delighted Albert has signed with us, as there was a lot of interest in him and he was a big target for us,” technical director Edu said.
“Albert is a player we’ve been tracking for some time, and he will bring us strength in depth in the centre of midfield. We look forward to his continued development with us.”
Manager Mikel Arteta added: “Albert is a very intelligent player who has shown great maturity in his performances during his development. He has been coached well by Vincent Kompany and his team at Anderlecht. I know Vincent very well and he talks so highly about Albert and the positive impact he had to Anderlecht in recent seasons. We’re confident Albert’s ready for the next stage in his development and we’re looking forward to welcoming a new member to our squad with his quality and presence.”
Lokonga will be wearing the No.23 shirt in his first season with the club. He is currently undergoing the compulsory process of self-isolation after arriving to the UK, according to the current Covid-related travel restrictions. Once he completes it, he will join his new teammates for the pre-season straight away.