Arsenal insider Charles Watts has provided his views on the Gunners’ squad following news about their pursuit of Anderlecht midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga.
The 21-year-old has been the subject of speculation about a move to north London this summer, and reportedly comes with great support from Arsenal legend Thierry Henry, who recommended him to Mikel Arteta’s men. A recent claim suggests that Arsenal are serious about a move for him and submitted a bid of more than €15m (£12.9m), but the Belgian outfit are set to be holding out for €20m (£17.2m).
Whether or not Arsenal will go back in for him and try to meet those demands is yet to be seen, but speaking on his show, Watts felt that even if the club were to sign the Belgian, he still envisioned more players in his position making the move to north London:
“I think when you look at the squad and you plan for your squad, you plan for the season; you sit down with Edu, Arteta, Richard Garlick and you work out how many players you need and what positions. I don’t think you can look at the midfield options at Arsenal right now and think ‘Yeah, we’ve got enough to get through the demands of a Premier League season, even with the fact that Arsenal don’t have European football.’
“Yes, that’s going to mean less games and less of a demand for a huge squad but still, the numbers in that midfield are a little bit worrying, for me. So I wouldn’t say it’s just going to be Lokonga and no one else. I still expect you’re probably going to see at least another midfielder come in if he does arrive.”
TIF Thoughts on Charles Watts’ comments about Albert Sambi Lokonga and the Arsenal squad…
Are you worried about the size of Arsenal's squad?
Watts is right to be concerned when it comes to numbers, because whilst it might look good now, with the reported potential departures of the likes of Granit Xhaka, Matteo Guendouzi and Ainsley Maitland-Niles among others, it could get very thin, very fast.
But it’s not just about depth at the position that Arsenal need to worry about, there also needs to be quality there as well, because it is no good just stockpiling players if they aren’t going to make an impact.
So whilst Sambi Lokonga certainly does look appealing, having been consistently in the top ten in a lot of statistical categories for Anderlecht last season, this should be just the start for the Gunners and hopefully their standards don’t slip just to fill a few holes in the team moving forward.