Albert Sambi Lokonga’s departure could allow Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to sign Houssem Aouar.


Albert Sambi Lokonga’s departure could allow Arsenal manager Mikel Arteta to sign Houssem Aouar.

Albert Sambi Lokonga, Arsenal’s newest signing, may have just given the club permission to go all-in on Houssem Aouar.

Arsenal’s new midfielder has thrown them for a loop. Albert Sambi Lokonga has established himself as an attacking box-to-box midfielder, although he believes he is better suited to playing deeper in the middle.

Lokonga was signed by Arsenal on Monday for an initial fee of £15 million.

And the Belgian midfielder explained where he sees himself playing in the future in his first interview with the club.

“It’s a major change because I’ve been with Anderlecht for ten years, so it’ll be my first big move to another country,” he explained.

“It’s a significant step, but I’m confident in my abilities because we need to be. You have to be confident in yourself in football, but I want to play in this league and can’t wait to get started.

“I can play as a six or a box to box, but people say I’m better in the six.”

This summer, Arsenal has been linked with a number of players that can play as a six, including Ruben Neves and Manuel Locatelli.

If Lokonga is poised to be a long-term option in that position, Arsenal may instead focus on a more attacking midfield addition, with the Belgian partnering Thomas Partey in a two-man partnership.

Arsenal may be able to recruit Lyon playmaker Houssem Aouar as a result of this development. Aouar has been extensively linked with a move to north London this summer.

“Aouar has always been Arsenal’s number one target,” said transfer specialist Fabrizio Romano earlier this year. “They adore him and believe he would be ideal for their midfield.”

An offer for Aouar would fit in with Arsenal’s efforts to renew their roster this summer, as manager Mikel Arteta wants to assemble a group capable of restoring the Gunners to English football’s top division.

Due to Lyon’s financial difficulties, the Frenchman is available for a moderate sum.

Arsenal officials are said to be willing to spend up to £250 million on their chosen targets, with Ben White certain to follow Lokonga through the door.

Yves Bissouma and James Maddison, as well as Norwich full-back Max Aarons, have all been connected with the club. “Brinkwire News in Condensed Form.”


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