Arsenal are set to wrap up the signing of Belgian wonderkid Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht.
The 21-year-old is already understood to have successfully completed his medical at the Gunners, and will now undergo a period of quarantine before the deal is made official.
Lokonga will join the Gunners for an initial fee in the region of £15million, which could rise to £18m, with the midfielder set to put pen-to-paper on a five-year deal.
It’s also claimed that Lokonga will wear the 48 shirt at the Emirates, as per a report from Belgian media outlet Nieuwsblad.
They say the players’ decision to request that number boils down to the fact the postcode of his hometown of Verviers is 4800.
Paul-Jose M’Poku is Lokonga’s brother, a name which Tottenham fans will recognise.
M’Poku joined the north London club from Standard Liege back in 2008, at the age of just 16.
However, he never made a first-team appearance for Spurs, and left the club three years later following a loan spell at Leyton Orient.
Now, Arsenal fans probably won’t know too much about Lokonga, but here at talkSPORT.com, we’ve got you covered.
Which other clubs were linked with Lokonga?
The only firm interest in Lokonga’s signature came from Arsenal, who wasted no time in securing a deal.
Interestingly, Lokonga’s agent used to work at the same law firm as Arsenal executive director Tim Lewis.
Club career so far?
Lokonga joined Anderlecht’s youth academy at the age of 10, going on to sign his first professional contract at the club in November 2017 before making his debut just one month later.
He’s gone on to make a further 68 appearances for the Belgian giants, finding the net three times.
That included a career-high 37 senior appearances in 2020/21, a campaign where he notched all of his goals to date.
Lokonga is yet to receive senior recognition for his country, having represented Belgium at Under-17, Under-19 and Under-21 levels.
He was called up to Roberto Martinez’s squad in March, but didn’t feature for the Red Devils.
What has been said about him?
None other than Manchester City legend Vincent Kompany, who manages Lokonga at club level, gave a glowing endorsement.
“With his qualities at his age, he stands out for me,” Kompany said.
“Will Sambi win his duels? Is he improving his defensive work? You ask yourself these questions as a coach.
“Well, I’ve seen him make a lot of progress in that area.”
He also said back in February that Lokonga had a genuine chance of making Belgium’s squad for Euro 2020.
“Who knows, Sambi may even make the national selection for the European Championship.
“It would give him a chance to secure a top transfer in the long term – hopefully not too early.”
How will he fit into Arsenal’s team?
In Mikel Arteta’s prefered 4-2-3-1 formation, Lokonga would most likely play in the two.
His primary position is as a central midfielder on the right side of a 4-3-3, but he’s also capable of being the most defensive player of the middle three.