According to reports, Luton Town is seriously considering ending Albert Sambi Lokonga’s Arsenal loan during the January transfer window.
The 28-year-old, who secured a temporary deal from Mikel Arteta’s Gunners in the summer, has not had the expected impact at Kenilworth Road.
Due to a significant hamstring injury sustained in late September, Lokonga has only appeared in four top-flight games for the Hatters.
The midfielder started last weekend’s ultimately postponed game at Bournemouth after making his competitive comeback on December 10 during Rob Edwards’ team’s loss to Manchester City.
TEAMtalk claims that Luton is considering their options for loan agreements during the January transfer window, which might result in Lokonga’s comeback to the Emirates Stadium.
Despite the Belgian’s absence over the last few months, the article states that the Hatters have been happy with their engine-room ranks, with players like Marvellous Nakamba, Thahith Chong, and Ross Barkley taking centre stage.
It is believed that in order to bring in a loan player for a different position, the Kenilworth Road team may decide to send Lokonga back to North London in the new year.
Should Luton fail to offload the Belgian, they would not be allowed to sign a temporary contract with another player from a top level English team due to Premier League loan regulations.
Prior to the January transfer window, Edwards’ team is said to have been flooded with loan chances; however, it is unclear if this will lead the Hatters to end Lokonga’s stay in Bedfordshire.
The former Belgium international paid £17.2 million to join Arsenal from Anderlecht in the summer of 2021, but he hasn’t been able to establish himself as a starter in Arteta’s starting lineup.
The acquisition of Declan Rice and Kai Havertz from West Ham United and Chelsea, respectively, prior to the 2023–24 season significantly reduced Lokonga’s chances of playing time; as a result, he was traded to newly promoted Luton.
The 24-year-old spent a brief period of time at Selhurst Park and Crystal Palace in the second half of the previous season, but he only made nine appearances for the Eagles.
Given that Havertz, Rice, and playmaker Martin Odegaard are now competing for the Premier League title at Arsenal, it is likely that, should Lokonga return from Luton, he will make a temporary move away from the Emirates once more.
On Saturday afternoon, the Hatters will host top-four chasing Newcastle United at Kenilworth Road, trying to close the five-point gap between themselves and 17th-placed Nottingham Forest in the Premier League rankings.