Albert Sambi Lokonga isn’t planning to leave Arsenal this summer, regardless of any offers they might receive.
Sacha Tavolieri reports that despite the rumours of a possible summer move for Albert Sambi Lokonga – mostly on loan – it is very clear in the minds of the player and his entourage that they wish to stay at Arsenal.
The arrival of Vincent Kompany as Burnley manager obviously raised the prospect of a loan to the Championship club, given the Belgium and Anderlecht connection.
But it seems that was just talk, and Lokonga is staying in North London.
Football.London repeat that claims, writing that the addition of Fabio Vieira and the possible signing of Youri Tielemans won’t lead to Lokonga’s departure.
Mikel Arteta wants strength in depth with his midfield this season, given the return of the Europa League, so he’s not looking to slim down the squad.
Lokonga made 23 appearances for Arsenal in his debut campaign, 16 of which were starts.
At 22 years old, the Belgium international will hope this is just the start of a long career with the Gunners, so his reduced minutes this season shouldn’t be a major concern yet.
The bigger worry is probably that many of Lokonga’s appearances came in the first half of the season, and he was less involved in the latter stages.
It’s fairly clear why that was, with Arsenal making a push for the top four and not being able to afford minutes to integrate players. With the Europa League group stage back this season, there should be more opportunities for that.
Still, it’s a leap of faith for Lokonga to stay with the club this summer and back himself to break in. It looks like a challenge he’s ready to take on.