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Crystal Palace close to agreeing loan deal for Arsenal’s Albert Sambi Lokonga

Crystal Palace are in talks with Arsenal over a loan move for midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, reports the Evening Standard.

Lokonga has been at Arsenal for one-and-a-half years, signing back in July 2021 from Anderlecht for a fee of around £17 million. In his debut season, he featured 24 times in all competitions.

This term, he has found regular minutes hard to come by. The Belgian has made six Premier League appearances, with only two coming as a starter.

With Jorginho expected to sign from Chelsea, he will likely fall further down the pecking order.

As a result, the Gunners are open to letting the 23-year-old leave in January on loan. According to the Evening Standard, Palace are close to completing a deal to bring him to Selhurst Park.

The Eagles appear to have little to play for this season. They are seven points above the relegation zone, seven points off the European places, and have been eliminated from both domestic cups.

However, each of their next seven fixtures are against sides above them in the table. A poor run of form could see them dragged into a relegation battle.

Manager Patrick Vieira needs fresh options in central midfield. His preferred midfield pairing has been Cheick Doucoure alongside Jeffrey Schlupp, with Will Hughes and Luka Milivojevic as back-ups. Vice-captain James McArthur is yet to feature this season due to injury.

If the deal goes through, Lokonga’s debut for Palace could come at Manchester United. His first home game would come the following week, in a clash with rivals Brighton & Hove Albion.

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