RSC Anderlecht have wished the best of luck to Albert Sambi Lokonga, with the midfielder completing a £15million switch to Arsenal on Monday afternoon.
Lokonga has been on the verge of joining the Gunners for the last few weeks, but has finally put pen-to-paper on a deal with the north London club, where he will wear the number 23 shirt.
Arsenal’s technical director Edu said this on the new arrival : “We are delighted Albert has signed with us, as there was a lot of interest in him and he was a big target for us.
“Albert is a player we’ve been tracking for some time, and he will bring us strength in depth in the centre of midfield. We look forward to his continued development with us.”
While everyone at Arsenal seems happy about the new signing, for Anderlecht it’s a bittersweet feeling. The Belgian club seem delighted for Lokonga, who is making a big step in his career, but are also upset about losing the talented 21-year-old.
In a message to the departing Belgium midfielder, Anderlecht wrote: “After 12 great years, Albert Mboyo Sambi Lokonga will be leaving Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht. The elegant midfielder has completed his move to Arsenal FC.
“After Tielemans, Lukaku, Dendoncker, Praet, Bornauw and Saelemaekers, Sambi is once again a prime example of the youth academy of RSC Anderlecht at Neerpede.
“Discovered back in 2009, Albert signed his first professional contract in 2017, after which he swiftly made his debut in the first team.
“In recent seasons, Albert emerged as an absolute stronghold on the midfield of RSC Anderlecht.
“He also wore the captain’s armband last season. Albert continued his strong performances with the national reserves and was called up for Belgium’s A-team for the first time this spring by coach Roberto Martinez.
“He also prepared the Euro 2020 with our national team.
“The whole club wants to wish Albert all the best in his further career.
“Albert will always carry the ‘Made in Neerpede’-stamp and will continue to reap the benefits of his formation at Royal Sporting Club Anderlecht.”
Lokonga’s arrival makes him Arsenal’s second completed piece of transfer business this summer after Nuno Tavares was confirmed as a Gunner recently.
Ben White is expected to join Lokonga and Tavares soon, with the north London club recently agreeing a £50m deal with Brighton for the England international’s services.
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