New Arsenal signing Albert Sambi Lokonga is one of Belgium’s hottest prospects, Vincent Kompany loves him and his older brother played in Tottenham’s academy

Arsenal have complete the signing of Belgian wonderkid Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht.

The 21-year-old successfully completed his medical before the deal was made official on Monday afternoon.

Lokonga is one of Belgium’s brightest talents
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Lokonga has joined the Gunners for an initial fee in the region of £15million, which could rise to £18m, with the midfielder penning a five-year deal.

“Albert is a very intelligent player who has shown great maturity in his performances during his development,” manager Mikel Arteta said.

“He has been coached well by Vincent Kompany and his team at Anderlecht. I know Vincent very well and he talks so highly about Albert and the positive impact he had to Anderlecht in recent seasons.”

Lokonga will wear no.23 for the upcoming season and while he may not be too well know by fans over here, his brother, Paul-Jose M’Poku, might be recognisable to Tottenham fans having joined the north London club from Standard Liege back in 2008, at the age of just 16.

Things didn’t work out for M’Poku at Spurs
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However, he never made a first-team appearance for Spurs, and left the club three years later following a loan spell at Leyton Orient.

Which other clubs were linked with signing 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.

Mikel Arteta is understood to be a big fan of the youngster

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 enjoyed a brilliant 2020/21 campaign
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International experience?

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.”

Kompany will be gutted to lose his young starlet, but he knows he’s got all the tools to reach the top
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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.