Arsenal have made slow progress in terms of outgoings, but there is now interest in one of the players who has been linked with an exit.
It now appears that Brighton are interested in the midfielder as an alternative to Lille midfielder Carlos Baleba, whom they are pursuing as a main target to help replace Moises Caicedo.
Fabrizio Romano has now claimed that Lokonga is an “alternative option” for Roberto De Zerbi’s side, whilst Sky Sports News have even reported that the Seagulls may turn their attention to the 23-year-old.
A loan could now be ideal
When Lokonga appeared close to a loan exit before, there may have been some dissatisfaction that the club could not agree on a permanent sale.
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However, with Brighton in the frame for a move, a dry loan could benefit Arsenal massively. De Zerbi’s side have been one of the best operators when it comes to young players, helping raise the value and performance levels of many young talents, whom they would eventually profit off.
Whilst Lokonga is not ready to compete in the Arsenal first team, a season at Brighton could see him fully adjust to the Premier League, and if he succeeds, his value could quickly rise.
This could mean that by next summer, Lokonga will attract interest from Brighton and others, and similar to Folarin Balogun’s current situation, Arsenal may be able to demand a higher price for him.
If he improves enough to become Caicedo’s replacement at Brighton, then he could even return to Arsenal as a genuine option.
Brighton’s interest, if it materialises, could completely change Arsenal’s plan for Lokonga, given their excellent record with young players, and if he does move on loan there, the club should be wary about accepting an optional buy clause as part of the deal, in case his value eventually exceeds the fee agreed now.