The Anderlecht midfielder will join Mikel Arteta during the summer – here is your guide for the Belgian
Arsenal ready to sign midfielder Albert Lokonga van Anderlecht, who recently signed a deal with Benfica for left-winger Nuno Tavares.
The 21-year-old Belgian will undergo a medical examination before moving to Emirates Stadium, after Arsenal agreed a deal of up to £ 18 million ($ 25 million).
Purpose offers you everything you need to know about Arsenal’s soon new signing.
Who’s Albert Lokonga?
Lokonga was born on October 22, 1999 in Brussels, the capital of Belgium.
He joined the youth system of Anderlecht in 2014, before signing his first professional contract with the club in November 2017, which made his senior debut on 22 December that year in a 1-0 win over Eupen.
He became a first team regular in the 2019-20 season and made 26 appearances in all competitions for Anderlecht before the Belgian First League season was canceled due to the coronavirus pandemic.
In 2020-21, Lokonga made a career high of 37 senior appearances and scored three goals, including his first senior strike, which ended in a 1-1 draw against Eupen on 27 September.
Anderlecht finish fourth in the table to qualify for next season’s Europa Conference League – meaning they will play continental football next season, something Arsenal will not do.
How much does Albert Lokonga Arsenal cost?
Arsenal have agreed that an initial fee for Lokonga will be around £ 15 million ($ 21 million).
However, this is a fee that will increase due to various additions that will be included in the final transaction. In all, Arsenal are expected to pay close to £ 18m for the young midfielder if these additions and bonuses are met.
Why does Arsenal want to sign Albert Lokonga?
Doel’s Arsenal correspondent Charles Watts: Arsenal consider Lokonga a player with great potential and he fits the profile of the type of player the club want to sign this summer.
‘At only 21 and having only played in Belgium, he will not be expected to be an immediate replacement for Roma-bound Granit Xhaka, but he will still get plenty of playing time if he adapts to the demands of the Premier League.
“With Matteo Guendouzi joining Marseille, Dani Ceballos returning to Madrid and Lucas Torreira expected to leave, Arsenal are well aware of the need to strengthen their summer level.
“Lokonga will do exactly that and will try to bring in Thomas Partey and whoever is brought in to replace Xhaka in midfield as the season progresses.”
What position does Albert Lokonga play?
Lokonga play mainly as a central midfield, on the right side of a 4-3-3. He was also used as the central, more defensive player of the middle three.
In the preference of Mikel Arteta with 4-2-3-1, he would most likely play in the two, but also in the 3-4-2-1 and 4-3-3 formations that Arsenal sometimes used in 2020- 21. .
For which national team does Albert Lokonga play?
Lokonga has declared for Belgium, although he is eligible to play for DR Congo – his brother, former Spurs youth player Paul-Jose M’Poku, has played for the African country 14 times.
The younger brother played seven times for the under-21s in Belgium and was called up for the senior group in June for their friendly match against Greece. However, he has not yet made his debut for Roberto Martinez’s team and missed the team for Euro 2020.
What is the FIFA 21 rating and potential of Albert Lokonga?
Lokonga’s overall rating in FIFA 21 is 73, with a potential of 82. He has a three-star rating. He prefers to shoot with his right foot and his work speed is medium.
His best statistic is ball control, which is 81, while he has 78 short passes, endurance, agility and calmness.