It’s become clear this summer that Sambi Lokonga does not have a future at Arsenal, and Burnley are hoping a strike a deal with the Gunners.
Lokonga arrived at the club two years ago as a raw midfielder with bags of talent, but he’s failed to establish himself in north London so far. While he earned opportunities when Thomas Partey was absent and offered glimpses of his talent, he failed to develop into a holding midfielder Mikel Arteta could trust given his deficiencies out of possession.
The 23-year-old admitted he came close to leaving the Gunners after just a single season, but he remained in north London and was loaned out to Crystal Palace for the second half of the campaign.
It’s fair to say the loan did little to suggest Lokonga was ready to earn regular minutes for a side of Arsenal’s ambition, and his current avenue to first-team starts looks very obscured.
Is Sambi Lokonga finally on his way out?
There had been suggestions of another loan move away, but it would make sense for Arsenal to sell Lokonga permanently this summer – even if they fail to garner the fee which they paid Anderlecht for his services in 2021 (£17.2m).
Burnley have been mooted as his most likely destination for quite some time with Lokonga’s former boss at Anderlecht, Vincent Kompany, guiding the Clarets back into the Premier League.
According to Belgian journalist Sacha Tavolieri, Arsenal are currently in talks with Burnley over Lokonga’s sale. However, they’re currently negotiating a loan with a potential obligation to buy should the midfielder make a certain number of appearances next season.
Lokonga is the first of several players that could make their way out of north London in the coming weeks. Arsenal have already parted ways with Granit Xhaka this summer, with the likes of Folarin Balogun, Nicolas Pepe, Cedric Soares and Rob Holding all expected to depart.
Matt Turner has also recently been linked with a move to Nottingham Forest, but that move will depend on where the club bring in David Raya from Brentford.