Albert Sambi Lokonga ‘is set to stay at Arsenal this summer despite arrival of £30m Fabio Vieira’, dealing blow to new Burnley boss Vincent Kompany’s hopes of taking his former Anderlecht midfielder on loan
- Albert Sambi Lokonga remains an important part of Arsenal’s plans next season
- New Burnley manager Vincent Kompany had hoped to reunite with him on loan
- But Mikel Arteta wants a strong midfield to help Gunners fight on all fronts
- Arsenal have already signed Fabio Vieira for £30m to bolster their midfield
Arsenal are reportedly set to keep hold of midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, dealing a huge blow to Vincent Kompany’s hopes to take his ex-player to new club Burnley.
The Clarets would have hoped the Gunners might have allowed the 22-year-old to move north on a loan deal after they signed Fabio Vieira for £30m.
Kompany and Lokonga previously worked together during the 36-year-old’s time as first-team manager at Anderlecht.
However, it appears that the Belgian international will remain at the Emirates next season, according to football.london.
Albert Sambi Lokonga is thought to be important to Arsenal’s plans and won’t leave on loan
Arsenal want a strong midfield line-up next season, including new £30m signing Fabio Vieira
The Sun reported that Mikel Arteta wants to maintain a full-strength group of midfielders as the Londoners seek to fight on domestic and European fronts once the season begins.
Therefore, even with Arsenal’s rumoured interest in players like Youri Tielemans, who plays in the same No. 6 position, it seems likely that Lokonga will remain among upcoming plans in London.
Lokonga joined the club last summer for £17m, and was thrown into action much sooner than expected due to Granit Xhaka’s knee injury.
Mikel Arteta thinks Lokonga can prove himself during Arsenal’s Europa League campaign
The talented young Belgian was especially important during the first half of last season, playing in 12 of the Gunners’ opening 13 Premier League games.
He saw his playing time restricted once Xhaka returned, playing just six league games after Christmas.
But Arteta is thought to see Arsenal’s Europa League fixtures next season as a chance for Lokonga to prove himself in the capital, and keep himself in the frame for the club’s future plans.