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Brighton target Albert Sambi Lokonga as Baleba deal stalls

Brighton & Hove Albion have turned their attention to Arsenal midfielder Albert Sambi Lokonga, according to talkSPORT’s Alex Crook

The Seagulls are struggling to finalise a deal for Lille midfielder Carlos Baleba. Talks were ongoing over a £25 million fee for the 19-year-old, but Brighton have switched their attention to Lokonga.

Lokonga is recovering from an injury he suffered in the early stage of Arsenal’s pre-season preparations but could leave the club soon.

The 23-year-old joined the Gunners in 2021 with bags of potential after showing promise in Belgium.

However, Lokonga has struggled to establish himself at Arsenal. He is not in manager Mikel Arteta’s plans for the season.

Lokonga went on loan to Crystal Palace in the second half of last season following the arrival of Jorginho but made only nine appearances for the Eagles.

Arsenal will not mind cashing on him now. The only other club he has attracted interest from is Burnley.

The Clarets were working on a potential transfer for Lokonga, who Vincent Kompany knows from Anderlecht, but nothing materialised.

Burnley have since signed Sander Berge from Sheffield United.

Brighton are after a defensive midfielder after losing Moises Caicedo to Chelsea. 

The Ecuadorian midfielder was a crucial lynchpin sitting in front of their defence, and they need someone who can give them that protection. 

Brighton manager Roberto De Zerbi recently claimed they may need to alter parts of their game to compensate for the loss of Caicedo. 

However, if Lokonga can begin to deliver on the promise he showed in his first days at Anderlecht, he could ease De Zerbi’s concerns.

Under De Zerbi’s guidance, Lokonga could begin to deliver the performance levels that made him a highly-touted prospect in Belgium.

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