Crystal Palace have secured a loan deal for Albert Sambi Lokonga from Arsenal following the Gunner’s agreement to sign Jorginho.
Early on deadline day, Alan Nixon reported that Palace had made a late effort to sign Lokonga on loan, after being interested in him before he joined Arsenal.
The loan benefits both sides, as Palace can offer Lokonga playing time and save money for a summer transfer, while Arsenal can get the midfielder a run of games they can’t offer him.
It was reported that the deal for Lokonga’s departure would not be approved until Arsenal completed the Jorginho signing, and there were suggestions that Chelsea would not finalise that move until completing the deal for Enzo Fernandez.
But David Ornstein then reported that Jorginho’s move was independent of Chelsea’s pursuit of Fernandez, which expedited the process.
Having signed for the club, Lokonga said, “I’m really excited – I can’t wait to get started. I’m really happy to join Crystal Palace. I want to go as far as possible with the team. I will try to push for me and the team to do the maximum to reach the top.”
Palace chairman Steve Parish added, “I would like to welcome Sambi to south London, and am pleased he has chosen to join Patrick’s squad for the rest of the season, after making an impressive start to life in English football. He has been on our radar for several years since his emergence at Anderlecht, and we very much look forward to his contribution as we push to climb the table”.
Lokonga needs minutes on the field, particularly in the Premier League, as he has not appeared in a league game since October 1st, which is 11 games without starting or coming on as a substitute.
There is no option to purchase in the loan agreement.