Arsenal will announce the signing of Albert Sambi Lokonga today, as well as his surprising shirt number, according to reports in Belgium.
Belgian outlet DH les Sports + report that Arsenal will finally announce the transfer of Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht on Thursday. Barring any late changes with his health situation, the announcement is expected today.
Sambi Lokonga arrived in London on Saturday and went into quarantine in a London house with a weight room to maintain his fitness. This is the final day of his five-day mandatory isolation wait.
The midfielder will reportedly wear the number 48, which would be a surprise. Arsenal normally only allow senior players to take numbers 1-35, before assigning the numbers after that to youth players in alphabetical order.
Even if you count Sambi Lokonga as an u23 player, 48 isn’t his spot in the alphabet, so it would still require a change of policy from Arsenal. But that’s not impossible, and we know the player wore 48 with Anderlecht.
I would urge a little bit of caution on this report, as Arsenal are notorious for dragging out player announcements.
It’s possible the Belgian outlets are simply assuming that because Sambi Lokonga is free from quarantine today that he’ll be announced today, which very well may not be the case. At least it shouldn’t be long now though.
Sambi Lokonga will join on a five-year deal for €17.5m, a figure which could rise to €22m. DH also report that there’s a sell-on clause in the deal.