It’s now been a month since the summer transfer window opened and the inescapable factor at this stage is that, yes, Arsenal haven’t signed anyone. Nor have they sold anyone. Pre-season is already underway.
Konstantinos Mavropanos and Matteo Guendouzi have been sent out on loan – both deals can effectively count as sales – but no money will make its way into Arsenal pockets for another 12 months barring a few minor loan fees.
Dubbed ‘Linked With FC’ due to the amount of players mooted to be making their way to north London this summer (the list is staggering), seeing the squad members not in summer action return to London Colney not only without any new faces but also with some faces that need moving on can be slightly alarming.
There is still a long way to go before the window slams shut as well as there being two major international tournaments afoot to slow processes down, but while all judgement has to be spared until August 31, some movement would be favourable.
Arsenal medical for Albert Sambi Lokonga taking place ahead of first signing of the summer transfer window for Mikel Arteta
Getting the new players bedded in with their teammates and up to speed with the manager’s ideas is crucial ahead of the coming Premier League campaign and, at last, the first one of what is hoped to be a fair few is making his way through the doors. (How many times has that been said?)
Belgian journalist Sven Claes, who has been following the Albert Sambi Lokonga deal since the beginning, has revealed that the midfielder is undergoing his medical with Arsenal on Friday ahead of completing his transfer.
Figures have been mentioned with differing upfront fees and add-ons, but the deal will end up costing Arsenal in the region of £20m give or take a few million either side. A decent amount but the kind of transfer that will excite: young, multi-faceted, dynamic, on a long contract and highly thought of.
While it’s mentioned that the medical checks are being completed in time for Lokonga to link up with Mikel Arteta’s side next week for pre-season in Scotland, Charles Watts tempered these hopes. Due to quarantine measures, Lokonga will have to isolate thus it’s ‘highly unlikely’ he’ll be with the squad next week.
Lokonga’s development will be carefully monitored and his appearances this season are likely to be fleeting with Thomas Partey ahead of him in the pecking order. That’s the plan anyway, yet with no other movement in the midfield department other than outgoings, he may be in line for more outings than expected.
Not to worry though, more midfielders will arrive. Definitely, maybe.