Sambi Lokonga has confirmed he will look to leave Arsenal in some capacity this summer after struggling for game time since his move from Anderlecht two years ago.
Making an appearance on the YouTube channel of former South Korea international Wonhee Cho, Lokonga was asked about his future.
“I don’t know, I will try to go somewhere I will play,” he said.
“That’s the most important thing, to have some games and play game after game.”
Earlier this summer, Lokonga, who reported for pre-season training yesterday, was linked with a move for Sevilla and rumours persist about a link-up with his former coach Vincent Kompany at newly-promoted Burnley.
There were high hopes the Belgium international would challenge Thomas Partey for a starting berth when he was landed for £17 million but he never looked convincing in a deep-lying role.
Mikel Arteta used him sparingly in the second half of his debut campaign and when he did start matches, it didn’t help that Arsenal failed to beat the likes of Burnley, Brighton and Southampton.
Last season, he started all six of Arsenal’s Europa League matches but featured for only 195 minutes in the Premier League before the break for the World Cup.
By that point, conversations about a loan move were already in progress and on deadline day in January he joined Patrick Vieira’s struggling Crystal Palace.
Lokonga was thrust into the team but Palace won only once in 11 games and by the time Vieira was sacked, the midfielder was again reduced to a place on the bench.
After taking over at Selhurst Park, Roy Hodgson turned to more experienced heads and Lokonga played just 65 minutes as the team’s form recovered. As loan moves go, it was a disaster for him on a personal level.
At this point, it’s hard to envisage Lokonga winning over Mikel Arteta and recovering his Arsenal career so for all involved a permanent move would probably be for the best. At the same time, he’s under contract until 2026 so a loan is also viable.