Arsenal’s second record this summer faces a crucial preseason period, and they look to establish themselves as a viable option to team up with Partey in midfield next season.
The Arsenal plant is taking shape with the legacy of Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht, but without answering many questions.
Lokonga became the Gunners’ second summer record after Nuno Tavares, and he joined the club for around £ 17 million.
The 21-year-old midfielder has an intriguing status – he’s not an entirely fickle young talent, he’s not an immediate starter in the starting lineup.
Arsenal’s preseason trip to the United States to play the Florida Cup will be of great importance to Lokonga.
Although Mikel Arteta and his coaching staff know about his abilities, after lobbying for hiring him, they still need to see what they can do.
His pre-season performances can go a long way in shaping his role in the 2021/22 campaign. The quotes at the end offer an idea of current thinking. Although Arteta and coach Edu know his qualities, they also mention Arsenal as the next step in his “development”. This could be a way of trying to reduce the pressure on your last chip, but it could also be a sign of your remaining intentions in the chip market, with Dani Ceballos and Martín Odegaard and your tour at your parent club, Real Madrid, in the future that was sent to Matteo Guendouzi. provided to Marseille.
Eager for Granit Xhaka to join Roma and Lucas Torreira at the event, not to mention the doubts surrounding Joe Willock and Reiss Nelson, Arsenal clearly could work with more work in midfield.
Thomas Partey was signed for £ 45m last summer and another big player could join the Ghana international next season.
Manuel Locatelli (from Sassuolo), Yves Bissouma (Brighton) and Ruben Neves (Wolves) studied with Arsenal this summer, and one of them could travel to the Emirates.
However, none of these players have signed up yet, which means Lokonga has plenty of time to impress before finding more players.
Goal reports that Lokonga may have an “important role” to play in his debut campaign, especially considering the participation of Partey and Mohamed Elneny in the African Cup of Nations mid-season.
With the possibility of Xhaka leaving, Partey seems set to take on the role of the most experienced and established midfielder on Arteta’s team. Lokonga could seize the opportunity to be his partner in midfield. Despite his youth, Lokonga played 33 games for Belgium’s top division last season, scoring three goals and an assist. Underlecht coach Vincent Kompany was briefly awarded captaincy in 2020/21 and is currently awaiting Roberto Martínez’s Belgian team at Euro 2020. Signs indicate that a player has passed the age of he.
“Albert is a very intelligent player who showed a lot of maturity in his performances during his development,” says Arteta.
“Vincent Kompany and his Anderlecht team trained him well. I welcome Vincent and I say a lot to Albert and the positive impact he has had on Anderlecht in recent seasons ”.
If Lokonga can have the same positive impact on Partey, then he can play an important role with Arteta in the upcoming campaign.