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Report: Ornstein says Arsenal have had a bid rejected for Albert Sambi Lokonga

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According to The Athletic‘s David Ornstein, The Daily Mail and Belgian site HLN, Arsenal have made a formal offer to sign Anderlecht’s Albert Sambi Lokonga this summer.

The Gunners have been heavily linked with a move for the 21-year-old for a while now. Voetball 24 recently revealed that Arsenal legend and Belgium assistant manager Thierry Henry is a huge fan of Lokonga and has recommended him to Edu.

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That certainly caught Arsenal fans’ eye and it looks like Mikel Arteta is now keen as well. The Gunners have launched an opening bid of £13.5 million to sign the midfielder, who has just two years left on his contract.

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Anderlecht have rejected Arsenal’s opening offer, but the report from The Athletic claims that a deal is there to be made. The Daily Mail claim that the move can be wrapped up if the Gunners will increase their opening offer by just £5 million, which makes this very likely to happen in the coming days.

How will Albert Sambi Lokonga fit in at Arsenal?

Lokonga is a defensive midfielder by trade, but he isn’t too bad with the ball at his feet. He is capable of driving into the opposition half and having a real impact there, which makes him a really exciting player to keep an eye on.

Granit Xhaka is set to leave the Emirates this summer, while Joe Willock and Ainsley Maitland-Niles could follow the Swiss international out of Arsenal as well. Dani Ceballos has already left, which leaves us with very few options in the middle of the park.

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Thomas Partey is a guaranteed starter in the middle of the park and Lokonga could be viewed as someone who can partner the former Atletico Madrid man.

However, he is unlikely to become a regular starter any time soon. Arsenal will need to bring in someone more experienced to replace Xhaka, but Lokonga could surprise all of us, just like Matteo Guendouzi did in his debut season here.

Arteta has already shown that he isn’t afraid to give regular chances to young players. If Lokonga comes in and impresses, don’t be surprised to see him start every game alongside Partey in the middle of Arsenal’s midfield next season.

Read more: Who is Albert Sambi Lokonga? The £17m Arsenal-linked star compared to Sergio Busquets

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