Arsenal could go back in for Moises Caicedo this summer depending on how Albert Sambi Lokonga performs on loan at Crystal Palace, according to a recent report.
The Lowdown: Failed Caicedo pursuit
The Gunners went in for the Ecuador international multiple times at the end of the January transfer window, having a £60m offer rebuffed by Brighton & Hove Albion, before a bid totalling £70m was also turned down.
The saga went right down to the wire, with the midfielder travelling to London on deadline day in the hopes of securing a move. While it did not transpire last week, that does not mean a deal is off the cards for the summer…
The Latest: Summer move possible
Writing for Tribal Football, journalist Rudy Galetti details that Mikel Arteta will make a final decision about whether to go back in for the 21-year-old after he has had time to assess Sambi Lokonga’s performances at Crystal Palace.
The Belgian midfielder recently joined the Eagles on loan until the end of the season, and the implication is that if the 23-year-old proves himself at Selhurst Park, then Arteta will have no need to sign another player in his position.
The Verdict: Wise move
Sambi Lokonga is showing signs that he has what it takes to succeed at Arsenal, with his passing ability particularly impressive as he ranks in the 97th percentile for his completion rate per 90 (91.4%) among positional peers in Europe’s top five leagues in the past year.
However, considering the Gunners’ fantastic season up to this point, the 23-year-old has not had the chance to prove himself, appearing for just 213 minutes across seven appearances in the Premier League, so the loan move to Palace should be beneficial.
Hailed as a ‘top player‘ by football scout Jacek Kulig, Caicedo has proven himself in the top flight, specialising in dispossessing the opposition as he ranks fifth in the entire league for tackles completed (55).
However, reports in January indicated that Brighton could demand up to £90m for the starlet, so Arteta is right to wait and see how Sambi Lokonga develops out on loan before shelling out a huge transfer fee on the Ecuadorian target.