Report: Anderlecht reject Arsenal’s opening bid for Lokonga

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Arsenal’s midfield search this summer has seen plenty of names mentioned, but perhaps one of the most interesting is Albert Sambi Lokonga.

The 21 year old has been touted as a possible arrival, and this morning a report in the Belgian press says that a bid has been made. It has been rejected by Anderlecht, but they are willing to consider further offers for the midfielder.

The Gunners put down €15m + bonuses, a figure not sufficient to tempt Anderlecht into a sale, as they look for something closer to €20m. There is also competition for his signing with clubs from France and Germany reportedly interested in the player.

Lokonga is apparently keen to move on this summer, and as Arsenal look to reshape midfield, the arrival of a 21 year old who can grow and develop at the club is the kind of signing that would speak to a medium-long term recruitment strategy.

There was no comment from either club, unsurprisingly, but in a summer where there’s no probably no smoke without fire with regards many of the players we’re being linked to, perhaps someone has set the kindling going on this one.

We previously gave this one a non-committal 5 on the Poo-O-Meter in a previous transfer round up, so let’s get a little more solid with a cautiously optimistic 4 now.

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Kampala gooner 🤣

And the wheels keep turning.

Daveo

Proud Mary keeps on burnin’

Teta's cult of personality

Rollin’, rolling, rolling on Lokonga

Daveo

Yes!!

Johnny 4 Hats

Arsenal – We can’t risk a 20year old at centre back.

Also Arsenal – Our only good players are very young and we are trying to buy more young players.

Sachin

I’d imagine he’d be a like for like with Guendouzi off (hopefully). Nothing wrong in buying promising talent.

Mpls

Are not the stakes a bit higher at CB than they are with an attacking wide player, like Saka, Martinelli, and ESR as he’s been used many times?

Giuseppe Hovno

Seems like a much better price than a player already with prem league experience. This way lies the future

Merlin’s Panini

15 million is now the sort of price where it’s sort of worth a punt. 20 million feels more risky to me. He’s only played in the Belgian league, which isn’t particularly good. He could turn out to be brilliant but I wouldn’t necessarily favour him over a proven prem player. He could just as easily sink as swim. I know a lot of people were underwhelmed by the link but I would rather have Neves for the higher price. He kind of reminds me of Arteta. Of course, if we were to sign both of them that would be… Read more »

Sachin

Which proven premiership player would you like us to target?

A Different George

Van Dijk. Coming off a poor season, getting older. Should be available for less than 150 milllion. A bargain.

Maul Person

In the world of football fees, are you really trying to suggest that 5 million marks the difference between safe and risky…?

Sachin

He’s a CFA he’s done his homeberk

Bleeding gums murphy

😂😂

gooner

Proven premiership player gives you 100% guarantee. Look at how Torres to Chelsea worked out

Poot

Look at how Willian to Arsenal worked out

Tommmy

I’d think more Alexis to Man U 👀

Giuseppe Hovno

I’m thinking Willian

David C

I’m thinking whoever wastes 100 million to buy Kane who looks a spent player.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Yeah, he was only the top scorer in the league last season

Giuseppe Hovno

even if he underwhelms, he’s not going to lose much value, whereas if Neves underwhelms for a few years, he’ll be sitting on a big contract and might be harder to shift

Brendan Rodgers' self-portrait

That poo is slowly firminh up, expect a solid in a few days now.

Daveo

18M Euro plus Bonuses, get it done tomorrow. Wrap b it up. I like this style of recruiting, instead of paying ridiculous fees for established talent that comes with massive pressure, find our own talent through combined good scouting and statistics from lesser leagues. He looks like the ideal talent profile we need too, strong, mobile, good dribbler, solid passing range and young with lots of room to improve and develop. Hopefully we don’t let this drag on and just get it done.

Eric Blair

Would make a good ‘3rd’ central midfielder behind Partey and the other one we’ll spend big on.

Fatgooner

It’s worrying that we’re not hearing any news about potential signings in the key areas in which we are deficient. The absolute priorities right now are two full-backs to cover the left and right flanks. If Leno goes then a decent goalkeeper will be necessary; a young striker would be nice too.

I suppose it’s early days still.

Kevin

Think CM is a priority, we only really have 2 at the club (If Xhaka leaves) and one is Elneny

Eric Blair

And Elneny and Partey will be away for 6 weeks in the middle of the season.

Daveo

Pretty sure we are desperate for at least 1 maybe 2 midfielders (and have been for basically a decade)…
IMHO the priorities should be:
1. CM
2. AM (maybe one that can double as a #8 in a 433)
3. GK
4. RB
5. Backup LB
6. ST
7. CM
Something like that. I think midfield is more important than full back (not too fast full backs are unimportant).

Fatgooner

In other words we need a new team

Damo

We should come up with a new name as well

Sachin

This year is make or break for Mikel, Edu and both the Kroenkes. If they don’t recruit right, Arsenal is doomed to be the new Newcastle. The fans will slowly flock elsewhere, bringing down Arsenal’s valuation.

Fatgooner

The “break” is already broken. We are going nowhere with the Krankies and won’t recover until they’re gone.

Abhi

Can’t say I know anything about how good this guy is, but personally, in the CM position I’d like someone at a better age, someone 24 – 25 who’s ready to contribute significantly right from THIS season.

Torterrier

This is the kind of signing I can get behind. A young midfielder for fairly cheap, with a lot of promise. To have already been called up to the Belgian senior squad is not easy, so he must have a hell of a lot of potential. More like this and less like Ben White.

Sachin

Would love to know how Ben White compares to other EPL CBs. Mr Arseblog? Is he half a Maguire? Or a little more than Mustafi?

Teta's cult of personality

Sachin, you could just do a quick player comparison on FBref and Understat. The more advanced stuff is usually behind a pay-wall.

Honestly, from what I saw, he’s had pretty similar season (statistically) to Holding.

Sachin

Thank you for the tip!

DPK

Is half a Maguire his forehead ?

Baichung Bhutia

Blogs and James tried to reason out why we are in for Ben White, but I can’t get my head around it. For that price, we could buy a class midfielder.

Torterrier

I agree with you. I don’t have an issue with Ben White but he’s not really any better than Holding or Chambers so why would we blow all that money when we really can’t afford to. I’d much rather try Saliba and use the money on a midfielder or right-back.

Alex

🎶 DO DO DOOOO
ALBERT SAMBI LOKONGA
DO DO DOOOO
HE PLAYS FOR ARSENAL 🎶

Han Kolo

Surely it has to be:

‘Lalala Lakonga! Lalala Lakonga’

To the tune of La Bamba.

Thierry Bergkamp (non negotiable)

Never seen him play but if Henry recommends him, I’ll be happy if we sign him.
Hopefully we do and he’ll turn out to be as good as Veratti and he dominates the midfield until he retires with us.

Prince Onyuylo

One of the last players Henry bigged up was Renato Sanches 5 years ago as a pundit on BBC, who went onto flop big time at Bayern and even Swansea! Although he had a decent season last year with Lille winning ligue 1. Like since when has Henry been an Arsenal scout, shouldn’t Edu be hoovering up some top Brazilian talent with his contacts- give me some more Martinellis bro and a coach who will play them!

The Beast

Not saying we should be listening to Henry when it comes to transfer targets but it’s a bit harsh to use Sanches as an example of a flop.

Didn’t work out at Bayern or Swansea on loan but he’s worked his way back to being a pretty big part of the Lille’s squad and is back in the national squad for the European champs. All at 23. If that’s a flop I’m massively failing at life

prince onyuylo

Flopped at Bayern and Swansea, two very different teams however as I said rebuilding now at Lille where he had a good season 4 years after the hype of the last Euros. A flop at those clubs but still young and plenty more to come from the young man.

Dave

In fairness I saw Renato Sanches at the Euros against Hungary in 2016 and he came on and dominated the game.

Anyone who saw him play would’ve thought he was going to be the next big thing. Can’t blame Henry for that.

leon

This will drag out as every transfer deal involving Arsenal drags out until it is eventually forgotten.
Honestly.
Not only do we have the disadvantage of not having European football to offer any prospective signing but we also have the incompetence of Edu and the unwillingness of Kroenke to spend any money on the team. I sometimes think when he talks of his ambition for the club he is as much trying to convince himself as us.

StockholmGooner

Ok :sadface:

StockholmGooner

Can we please buy Isak!
Not just because I’m Swedish 😛 He’s an absolute talent. Works hard, insane skill – strength, dribbling and hold up. He’s very much a combination of many of the great Swedish strikers and the polar opposite of Marcus Berg.

Oh and I’d have Sebastian Larsson back for a season. He still runs his socks off, has great passing range and Arsenal pedigree. He was all over the pitch vs Spain yesterday… He’s got lots of shithousery to him. He’s an upgrade on Elneny and we’d get him for några kronor.

Teta's cult of personality

I watched the Spain v Sweden match last night and I was very impressed by Isak. Brilliant stuff. What stuck out most to me is he made the right decision 9 times out of 10, which is incredible for a 21 year old. He must have dribbled through at least 3 different Spain presses and he made it look very effortless. I also noticed he made two line breaking passes which shows good vision for a striker. One was released quickly on the counter and the other was in the 18 yard box. I still can’t believe Berg missed after… Read more »

Daveo

yes, he impressed me last night too!

A Voice in the Noise

Was thinking the exact same last night re Isak! Watching the game, I couldn’t help but to be impressed with his footwork and strength.
He could be very good at Arsenal, but I think he might be a bit too expensive for this summer though.

The Beast

He was really impressive last night, wasn’t he?!

As a Swede, were you as upset as I was when he was pulled off early or was that just me being selfish & not thinking of the bigger picture?

Rich

€15,000,001 bid, incoming

Qwaliteee

The thing is, it doesn’t have to be this way. As fans, we shouldn’t have to continually employ gallows humour to keep ourselves sane. This fan base need to unite, globally and genuinely believe that this majority shareholder and his Lego headed lap dog can be removed through relentless fan pressure and the media. If, on the other hand, we blindly accept their mediocrity like the non questioning consumer sheep they want, then that’s what we’ll always get. It’s going to take more than a £50m centre half from Brighton to fix this shit. It’s time to wake up to… Read more »

Rich

I think we’ll spend £200 million+ this summer, providing we can clear the decks Arsenal can’t afford to invest, KSE can’t afford not to invest We’re haemorrhaging money, and our manufacturing and sponsorship deals are up in 2024, we’ll need to renegotiating in 18 months time, and we’ll have to be in a strong position to do that Allowing the value of their asset and it’s revenues to deteriorate isn’t an option for KSE, they either need to go hard? or sell up, and go home? The PL has a potential market audience of over 4.5 billion people, right now… Read more »

Ikemefuna

Arsenal once again risking paying for unproven players, aka Gendouzi remember didn’t materialise.

Bleeding gums murphy

Yep, veiera, anelka van Persie, absolute waste of money 🤓

Prince Onyuylo

It’s those type of signings that we made stars, the big names and known players often from our Premier League rivals haven’t faired as well. I like the under the radar, unknown or known to those in the know type of players- let’s make some stars again.

Prince Onyuylo

Guendouzi was not a matter of talent more of temperament. I think he will come good eventually when he matures and he will get a big move to one of the giants of European football ( I can see him in a PSG shirt one day), I hope we insert a large sell on clause in his contract as Marseille won’t pay much. I would like to see him go to Villarreal and link up with Emery who believed in him, I think the Spanish league would suit him.

Gabigol

Guen is a born rebel like Bendtner was. They would even admit they are difficult themselves.

If your manager is someone who prefers teamwork and team spirit above all else, then he isn’t a good fit and it was poor scouting.

But unai loved him and was willing to build the team around him.

Which makes his decision on ozil seem a little strange to the rest of the squad.

Man Manny

Thierry Henry is working with the Belgian team. He has seen Lokonga up close. If he is recommending him, Edu and co should quickly cut to the chase. With the Kroenkes still on the saddle, our best bet is getting players before they hit their prime. Dortmund has used this model to great effect in Germany. The difference for us should be to keep them rather than flog them after few years. Imagine a team with Martinelli, Saka, ESR, Balogun, Azeez, Lokonga, Tierney, Gabriel, Pepe, Saliba and others in three years time with the huge premier league experience between them!… Read more »

leon

A positive outlook on it.
All dependent upon there being a reason for these players to stick around.
That is simple enough though.
Start competing for and winning things.
Over to you Messrs Arteta, Edu and Kroenke.
Oh dear, and it was looking so positive until the original dipso trio was mentioned lol

Daveo

I have no problem with us flogging our best talent for exorbitant prices. IMO this is exactly why we are struggling so badly in recent years. Our inability to sell properly. Lets say in 3 years City come in for Saka at 100M quid. You think we should turn that down? I say sell him and use that (massive) fee to build a elite scouting force and identify and reinvest in the next wave of talent. That should be our focus. If the oil tycoons want to drop absurd money on that talent as they reach their peaks then take… Read more »

Man Manny

As reasonable as that sounds, it comes with its price if Dortmund’s near success syndrome is anything to go by. We had gone that route from ’06, and the pain of always falling short at the deep end still rankles. Like Dortmund, we always started like a house on fire. The most painful for me remains the 07/08 season. We were by miles the best team in the league, and one Monday night in early Febuary, after a 2-0 victory over Blackburn Rovers, were 8 points ahead of United. Eduardo and the rest happened shortly after! Imagine if Thierry Henry… Read more »

Qwaliteee

Spot on, well said.

It’s high time we kept our best players and attracted further top talent to join them.

It’s high time that this football club started acting like Arsenal Football Club – not fucking Norwich.

And it’s also high time we upped the pressure on KSE and Arteta and stopped accepting their own special brand of penny pinching boring mediocrity.

KROENKE OUT

ARTETA OUT

karl

We probably don’t have the £50 Brighton want for Bissouma, so decent size for central midfield at 6ft. He is already ahead of Guendouzi with some end product in his numbers.

Viv The 🐐

I think a midfield Basis of Partey/Lokonga/ Azeez (as a 4th/5th option) and a Bissouma/Neves etc. would be a good foundation for our midfield for the next season and beyond. They would also get some decent exposure the next season and would probably get an underwhelming amount of game time. I don’t know why, but this Lakonga link just sounds too reasonable to turn down.

ozymandias

£15m is a fair ask for the kid considering he is their club captain and also in and around the Belgian national team.

Seems capable of playing the box to box or deeper lying roles which will help us in terms of tactical variety.

Perfect player to backup Thomas Partey. Hope we get him in.

Jean Ralphio

Can’t we just get it done. Arsenal should know that they aren’t as attractive at the moment.

David Chunu

If Arsenal continues stingy in the market, they will loose all the good players and come out at the bottom of the league next season.

Martin R

4th highest spenders in the past 5 years breaking out transfer record 3 times.

OBT

Arsenal always “nickel-ing” and “dime-ing”…pay the fees, sign the players. let’s move.

Qwaliteee

“Be excited…..”

*Tumbleweed

Josh Kroenke

New boat… or Kongla

I mean c’mon man, you guys understand right?

Gabigol

Soo we offered 12.9m GBP but they want 17.2m gbp.

20m euro Seems like a fair deal to me for an international player with experience in elite European competition

Gabigol

Lokonga to replace xhaka
Therefore we would look for someone more experienced to replace Odegaard.

And let the kids like azeez go on loan for half a season.

Willock will stay for half a season and then either go on loan or be sold off if Lokonga doesn’t work out quickly in a 433 and we need to switch back to 4231 or 343