Photo by Stuart MacFarlane/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

'Big potential': Romano claims Arsenal think they've got a gem who'll be worth over £50m soon

Photo by David Price/Arsenal FC via Getty Images

Fabrizio Romano has said on the Arsenal Lounge that Arsenal’s board believe that Albert Sambi Lokonga could almost treble in value within three years.

Value for money

Arsenal paid £18 million to sign Lokonga from Anderlecht this summer (Goal), in what was seen as a big show of faith.

The midfielder has not played outside Belgium, and is not a household name in English football yet.

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However, Arsenal have already identified his potential – as Italian side Atalanta did.

And Romano has heard some hugely promising things about Arsenal’s latest recruit.

“An Italian club in Atalanta were looking at him as perfect player. They told me when I was talking about him with the sporting directors at Atalanta, they told me he is really special because in football now players are not always only looking at football, many times they are acting like stars,” Romano said.

“But the directors say he is really living for football. The player is always 100 per cent focusing and fighting for the team and this is something really appreciated.

‘He’s so professional and has big, big potential. What I’ve heard is that Arsenal in two or three years he is a player for 50 or 60 million Euro [£51 million], this is the feeling around the club.”

Photo by Sylvain Lefevre/Getty Images

Time on his side

Lokonga is still only 22, so certainly has plenty of time to develop.

The fact that he wore the captain’s armband at Anderlecht really does highlight his professionalism despite his tender years.

Crucially at Arsenal, Lokonga’s development shouldn’t be blocked in any way.

There is a gap in Arsenal’s midfield opening, with Granit Xhaka seemingly set to depart.

And if Lokonga can impress on the training ground, then Mikel Arteta will surely be more than willing to offer him first-team chances, which should only help aid his progression.

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