Arsenal Ready To Enter Into A Player Swap Agreement For Juventus Star: Wise Move?

Arsenal are reportedly planning to include Albert Sambi Lokonga in a swap deal for Juventus midfielder Manuel Locatelli.

Albert Sambi Lokonga arrived at the Emirates Stadium with a huge reputation from Anderlecht last year but managed only 12 Premier League starts in his debut campaign. Failing to adapt to the demands of the Premier League could see the Gunners offload the Belgian midfielder next year.

According to Italian outlet Calciomercato, Arsenal are willing to part with Albert Sambi Lokonga to get a deal for Manuel Locatelli over the line in January. Lokonga could be included in a straight swap for the Juventus midfielder, with no cash involved, the report adds.

Arsenal hold a long-term interest in Locatelli, having tried to sign him from Sassuolo last year only to be snubbed in favour of Juventus. The Italy international, 24, has struggled to live up to the hefty demands at Juventus and is yet to fully convince manager Max Allegri this season.

As a result, the Turin giants are ready to make Locatelli available in January, as Arsenal hope to take advantage of the situation.

Manuel Locatelli to Arsenal—Wise move?

Mikel Arteta’s hand may be forced into making a transfer in the January transfer window, after injury woes continue to adversely affect Arsenal.

Granit Xhaka and Thomas Partey have been the first-choice midfield pairing for the Gunners, but the latter has been struggling with injury problems since the start of the season. Partey has missed three Premier League games this season due to a hamstring problem, and Arteta must handle his situation with great care.

With Mohamed Elneny sidelined with a long-term injury and Emile Smith Rowe’s groin surgery set to keep him out until after the World Cup, buying a central midfielder has to be Arteta’s top priority this January. In that regard, Manuel Locatelli features very high on the Arsenal manager’s transfer wishlist.

A defensive midfielder by trade, Locatelli will add more steel and energy to the Arsenal side while providing the necessary protection to their backline. The Italian can play as a deep-lying playmaker, in the double pivot or in a midfield three, and such flexibility will only add value to Arteta’s side. He will undoubtedly boost the Gunners’ midfield unit, whilst adding much-needed depth to the squad.

Arteta will be looking for some fresh faces in the winter window who can be game-changers in this intense battle for the Premier League title. And with Lokonga failing to meet the high demands of the Premier League, the Spanish tactician would not loath losing him if an exchange deal for Manuel Locatelli is arranged with Juventus.

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