June 16, 2024

A second source has confirmed that Burnley are interested in taking Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga on loan next season.

Lokonga left Arsenal in January after 18 months to spend the second half of the 2022-23 season on loan at Crystal Palace. He was only able to make nine appearances for his temporary side, though, and will be back in the Arsenal fold over the summer.

The Gunners still have Lokonga under contract until 2026. However, the former Anderlecht player might not be part of their plans for next season either.

Last month, Football Insider revealed that Burnley would be keen on adding Lokonga to their Championship-winning squad. Their manager, Vincent Kompany, previously worked with the midfielder at Anderlecht, giving him 39 appearances and seeing him score three goals.

Now, the Daily Mail has confirmed that Lokonga is indeed of interest to Burnley, who won promotion back to the Premier League ahead of the 2023-24 campaign.

It is reiterated that the formula they are exploring is a loan deal rather than a permanent bid.

And the tabloid claims Arsenal ‘may be willing to allow’ Lokonga to leave on loan again after his spell at Selhurst Park.

Mikel Arteta decided he could find someone better than the 23-year-old midway through the season just gone. Lokonga made way in January so that Jorginho could arrive from Chelsea.

And Arsenal are once again aiming to strengthen their midfield this summer, when Declan Rice of West Ham has become a top target. Therefore, Arteta could offload Lokonga once more.

Lokonga looked at by Sevilla before Monchi move to Aston Villa

Albert Sambi Lokonga reveals Mikel Arteta's words of encouragement before  leaving Arsenal for Crystal Palace | talkSPORT

Interestingly, the report claims that another suitor for Lokonga could have been Sevilla, who would have enabled him to experience La Liga for the first time in his career and likewise participate in the Champions League. However, their interest was established when Monchi was still their sporting director.

Monchi has since become the President of Football Operations for Aston Villa, although it remains to be seen if he will transfer his interest in Lokonga across to his new club.

Villa have already added to their midfield this summer by winning the race to sign Youri Tielemans – one of Lokonga’s international colleagues with Belgium – on a free transfer after his departure from Leicester City.

Therefore, Burnley are the club to keep an eye on when it comes to offering Lokonga the next step away from Arsenal.

Arteta has only ever given him 39 appearances for the club. In that time, Lokonga has never scored or made an assist, nor did he manage to in his nine outings for Palace.

Other than the Belgian, Arsenal could offload some other midfielders from their squad this summer. Granit Xhaka has been linked with a move away, for example, despite playing a key part on their journey to finishing second in the Premier League and securing Champions League football for next season.

Even Jorginho might be facing an uncertain future just months after his move across London. Furthermore, Ainsley Maitland-Niles has been released after a loan spell with Southampton.

 

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