The transfer news focuses on Albert Sambi Lokonga to Arsenal and Jadon Sancho to Manchester United.
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Two young stars are in demand this summer with Borussia Dortmund’s Sancho on everyone’s radar, while Lokonga is a rising star at Anderlecht.
The transfer fees involved are at the opposite end of the scale and tell you a lot about the financial situation at Manchester United and Arsenal right now.
Anyway, let’s dig a bit deeper on these reports.
Lokonga to Arsenal
A report from Belgium outlet HLN states that Arsenal have had a bid of $18.1 million rejected for Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.
It is believed the Belgian giants want over $23 million for Lokonga, 21, who is a rising star in central midfield and Vincent Kompany has made him captain of the Brussels club on several occasions.
Lokonga is a midfielder who is solid defensively and loves to progress play with forward passes, and that lines up well with Mikel Arteta’s philosophy and how he wants Arsenal to play. With Emile Smith Rowe and Bukayo Saka able to launch counters and create, having a central midfielder who always wants to play forward is key.
This deal would also align with Arsenal’s plan to lower the average age of their squad as David Luiz has departed, Granit Xhaka could be on his way out and the likes of Hector Bellerin could also move on this summer.
The likes of Lucas Torreira, Matteo Guendouzi and Joe Willock are all still Arsenal players don’t forget, but this move would suggest they can move on permanently this summer as USMNT midfielder Tyler Adams has also been linked with the Gunners.
Lokonga will be chased by plenty of top teams around Europe but Arsenal could be a very good landing spot for him, as he could develop alongside Thomas Partey and play plenty of minutes next season.
Sancho to Manchester United update
This saga continues to rumble on, but it appears that Manchester United and Borussia Dortmund are closer on agreeing a transfer fee for Jadon Sancho.
But still not close enough.
Our partners in the UK at Sky Sports are reporting that the two sides remain $13.3 million apart in terms of the transfer fee and add ons for Sancho. Dortmund want $121.2 million for Sancho, including add ons.
With Sancho, 21, not even getting into the England squad for their EURO 2020 opener, is he worth all of this money?
One small issue (read, large issue) with this deal is that United really need to strengthen in other areas before adding another winger. Right?
With Harry Maguire out injured at the end of the season, you can already see the drop off when United’s star center back is out, and Ole Gunnar Solskjaer should prioritize bringing in a new center back this summer.
With Amad Diallo a rising star, plus Mason Greenwood, Marcus Rashford, Daniel James and Anthony Martial (a natural winger) in their squad, surely Solskjaer will look at signing a center back or central striker (ahem, United) first?
Sancho is a generational talent, there’s no denying that, but when you have Greenwood and Rashford out wide, do you need Sancho? He is a slightly different type of player and is less direct and possesses more trickery than the aforementioned duo, but this still feels like a luxury signing.
However, he had a fine end to last season at Dortmund and on his day his assists, calm finishing and ability to drift inside from out wide is game-changing.
If United want to close the gap on Manchester City and be genuine title contenders, these are the kind of players they need to sign.