Arsenal

ARSENAL’S £15M ACE EXPLAINS WHY HE SNUBBED PREM RIVALS WHO ‘WANTED TO BUY ME’

Luton Town loanee Albert Sambi Lokonga admits he turned down a move to fellow Premier League newcomers Burnley over the summer as he looks to keep his Arsenal career alive.

In truth, the Belgian feels like a man fighting a losing battle.
If he cannot force his way into the Crystal Palace XI – Albert Lokonga making little impact on loan at Selhurst Park last term – then it’s unlikely Declan Rice will be fearing for his place any time soon.

A loan spell at Luton, then, felt like Lokonga walking into ‘last chance saloon’. But an injury which has kept the midfielder out of action since September will not have done his hopes of catching the eye of his parent club much good, even if Lokonga is reluctant to give up on his Arsenal dream just yet.
Arsenal’s Albert Lokonga snubbed Burnley move

“(Returning to Arsenal) is the ideal scenario!,” the £15 million signing from Anderlecht tells Het Nieuwsblad. “But let me focus on Luton. The next six months will decide my future at Arsenal and with the national team.

“I don’t know what my future at the club holds. I feel really good at Arsenal. We’ll see what happens but, as long as I’m under contract there, I will always fight to get back into the team.

“I still have contact with the Arsenal staff.”

The 24-year-old Belgium international captained Anderlecht during Vincent Kompany’s time in charge, the Manchester City legend labelling Lokonga the ‘new Y’aya Toure’ on Rio Ferdinand’s Vibe with Five podcast.
When the opportunity arose to reunite with Kompany at Burnley, however, Lokonga rebuffed The Clarets in favour of a temporary contract at Luton.

‘Burnley wanted to buy me’

“There was contact (with Burnley) at the end of last season,” he adds.

“But I had a difficult year at Palace, and I asked for time and a holiday to think about it. We were in touch again, but Burnley wanted to buy me. I didn’t like that solution.”

Lokonga impressed initially with Luton, Hatters boss Rob Edwards praising his ‘excellent’ early performances. The midfielder will be desperate to pick up where he left off when he finally returns from injury, hopefully in time for Christmas.

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