Arsenal are closing in on Albert Lokonga, according to reports. That should clear a path for Liverpool.
Fabrizio Romano claims Arsenal are on the brink of signing Albert Lokonga from Anderlecht. They’ll pay around £15m upfront, with add-ons and a future sale percentage being sorted out.
The 21-year-old appears to be a very bright prospect coming out of Belgium. He’s already captaining his club despite his age and the Gunners will hope they’re finding a bargin.
So how does this effect Liverpool, exactly? Well, hopefully, this clears a path to one of their main transfer targets this summer.
Arsenal move for Albert Lokonga
Football London claimed earlier this month that Arsenal were looking at Lokonga as an alternative to Yves Bissouma. The Belgian would be much cheaper than the Brighton man, of course.
Arsenal were a real problem in any battle, however. Not because of any particular pulling power or financial might but because Bissouma is reportedly a fan.
In fact, Football London said just this month that he’d instructed his agents to push for a move to the Emirates Stadium. That didn’t exactly bode well for Liverpool’s chances.
Especially as the Reds will likely wait before making any sizeable moves. The Athletic says Liverpool must sell players before buying and that takes some time.
Euro 2020 delays transfers further, in fact, meaning it could be mid-July before Liverpool really start making more moves in this window.
So Arsenal signing Lokonga buys them time, as much as anything else. It doesn’t seem reasonable for them to sign both, given the number of midfielders they already have at the club. Liverpool can probably afford to wait a little while without anything happening with Bissouma.
And if the player is still with Brighton come mid-July, the Reds may fancy a bid. We think he’s a very good player and one who fits nicely into Jurgen Klopp’s options.
There’s a gap with Gini Wijnaldum leaving the club, of course. Bissouma, with Premier League experience and youth on his side, offers a great replacement.
But he needs to be available at the right time for Liverpool to do anything. Fears he might quickly jump to Arsenal appear gone, though, and that gives the Reds a good chance of getting him.
If he’s the one they eventually want, of course.