Premier League • England

Albert Sambi Lokonga facing ‘wasted year’ after Arsenal exit collapses; another star ‘frozen out’

Albert Sambi Lokonga of Arsenal - Brighton & Hove Albion v Arsenal, Premier League, Amex Stadium, Brighton

Albert Sambi Lokonga remains in Arsenal limbo as the transfer window ticks to a close, according to Charles Watts, with a move to Vincent Kompany’s Burnley falling through.

Arsenal are seeking a resolution for the Belgian who is out of favour under Mikel Arteta. The Gunners now have until the end of the current transfer window to sort out his future.

We all expected him to sign for Burnley at some point this summer,” said Watts. “It hasn’t happened yet.

“Talks were ongoing and those talks seem to have stalled, whether they’re completely dead in the water, I don’t know.

“He absolutely needs to go, there’s no point in sticking around now, it’s not doing anyone any favours. Fingers crossed something does happen with him, but it just felt like the stars aligned for him to go to Burnley with Kompany there.

“It’s a real shame that they haven’t been able to. I’m not sure that there’s been an agreement in terms of fee or behind the scenes in terms of personal terms.

“He’s not a massive money, he’s on good Arsenal money and for Burnley that’s difficult, even though they’re in the Premier League now.

There’s just been no agreement between clubs and between players so ultimately, it’s just stalled a little bit, whether it’s something that can be revived in the closing days, we’ll have to see.

“It’s a shame that he’s where he is at the moment, because he’s a good player, he’s a young player, it’s not worth asking him sticking around for the season.

“It’s just just going to be a wasted year for him. So they need to find find a resolution for it in the next 10 days.”


Meanwhile Arsenal’s record signing, Nicolas Pepe, remains frozen out at the Emirates Stadium.

The Ivorian has only just returned to the Gunners’ training base this week but a move to Besiktas no longer appears to be on the cards.

“It’s just a really odd situation,” added Watts. “The club record signing, £72m.

“It’s not his fault. He’s not bad player and he’s done alright at times. If you can’t sell him, can you not potentially use him? Even if it’s a bit-part thing for League Cup?”