Arsenal have completed the signing of midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga from Anderlecht for an initial fee believed to be around £15m.
The 21-year-old, who received his first call-up to Belgium’s international squad in March, made 33 appearances in the Belgian First Division A last season and scored three goals.
Lokonga, who has signed a five-year deal and will wear the No 23 shirt, will reinforce Mikel Arteta’s options in central midfield with Granit Xhaka expected to join AS Roma this summer, while Matteo Guendouzi’s fraught time at the club ended with a move to Marseille. Dani Ceballos has also left with no interest in renewing his loan from Real Madrid.
“Albert is a very intelligent player who has shown great maturity in his performances during his development. He has been coached well by Vincent Kompany and his team at Anderlecht,” Arteta said.
“I know Vincent very well and he talks so highly about Albert and the positive impact he had on Anderlecht in recent seasons.
“We’re confident Albert’s ready for the next stage in his development and we’re looking forward to welcoming a new member to our squad with his quality and presence.”
Arsenal’s technical director, Edu, added: “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.”
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