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Arsenal turn gaze to Belgian ace as bargain Bissouma alternative

Arsenal are reportedly looking at bringing talented Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga to the club as Mikel Arteta attempts to revamp his midfield options.

It may well be a summer of change at the Emirates as the Spanish tactician looks to bring back the good times. An eighth place finish and no European football was deemed unacceptable and the pressure is now on to right the wrongs. Midfield is one area in which there could be wholesale changes, with many departures expected.

Granit Xhaka may have played his last game for the Gunners as the Switzerland international has been linked with Roma. Incoming manager Jose Mourinho is said to be a fan of the defensive midfielder and wants him at the Stadio Olimpico.

Matteo Guendouzi and Lucas Torreira are also expected to depart and the north Londoners want quality replacements, according to The Sun. Brighton’s Yves Bissouma is a player said to be on the radar.

But Arsenal are not the only club keen on the Mali international. He has been valued at around £40m and Sambi Lokongo could be available for less than half that amount.

Belgian news outlet Nieuwsblad feel he could be purchased for between £13m-£17m, with just one year left on his contract. The Gunners have been linked with the 21-year-old before and it seems he is ready for a change of venue.

“It will all have to become apparent in the coming weeks, but it may well be that I am leaving,” he said last month. “I feel ready for a higher level and I am looking forward to it. We shall see. I only go if it concerns a club that is clearly better than Anderlecht.

“Maybe I am leaving, but at the same time I am not in a hurry to leave. Only if all the ingredients are present, it may be possible to leave.”

Sambi Lokonga to partner Partey

Sambi Lokonga made 33 Belgian First Division A appearances in 2020-2021, scoring three goals and assisting many more. He did not make Roberto Martinez’s Belgium squad for Euro 2020 but is on the reserve squad list.

The youngster is clearly a player on the up and would add energy to the Emirates midfielder. The jury is still out on Thomas Partey and there is a sense that he has yet to show his best stuff.

But it seems as though Arteta is willing to give him a chance to shine alongside a new man. Whether that is Bissouma, Sambi Lokongo or another incoming star only time will tell.

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