Sambi Lokonga in his Arsenal kit.

Arsenal midfielder reveals pre-season injury blow

Sambi Lokonga has announced that he has been forced to sit out Arsenal’s pre-season training camp in Germany due to injury.

The midfielder, who has been strongly linked with a move away this summer, has taken to social media to reveal he has suffered a ‘muscular’ problem and has not been able to travel with the rest of Mikel Arteta’s squad.

“Due to a small muscular injury, I’ll sadly not be part of the summer camp with the team in Germany,” he said. “I’m focus now on my recovery to prepare the season and be ready to help the team at my fullest capacity.”

Lokonga spent the second half of last season on loan at Crystal Palace and is expected to leave Arsenal again this summer, with Burnley believed to be in discussions over a potential move.

Clarets boss Vincent Kompany was Lokonga’s manager while he was at Anderlecht and is a big admirer of the 23-year-old, who he once described as the ‘next Yaya Toure’.

Arsenal are open to letting Lokonga leave during the window and would ideally look to sell him on a permanent basis and recoup a large chunk of the £18 million they spent to bring him to the club in 2021.

But a loan with an option to buy next summer could also be an option as the Gunners look to continue revamping their squad ahead of the start of the new signing.

Arsenal will soon announce the signing of Jurrien Timber from Ajax and Declan Rice from West Ham.

Arteta’s squad enjoyed their first session of their preseason training camp in Herzogenaurach on Monday. They will end their stay in Germany on Thursday evening with a friendly against FC Nurnberg at the Max-Morlock-Stadion (6pm kick-off).

New signing Kai Havertz is part of the travelling party and is expected to make his debut in Thursday’s night game.

Bukayo Saka, Martin Odegaard and the other players who returned late to training due to their international commitments over the summer are also set to get some minutes.