Arsenal are continuing to monitor highly-rated Udinese midfielder Jakub Jankto as the transfer window starts to enter its business end, according to comments from his agent over the weekend.
In an interview with Italian TV outlet SportItalia, as reported by the Evening Standard and the Express, Jankto’s representative Beppe Riso claimed that the 21-year-old midfielder is firmly ‘liked’ by the north London side. He said:
“Arsenal like him, he’s a lover of English football, and he’s also liked by Juve, Inter and other teams.
“Still, he’s young, he’s 21-years-old, he must be calm and he’s only thinking about Udinese. After that, we’ll see. Do I see him more in the Premier League than other Leagues? Yes.”
Jankto has been at Udinese since arriving from Czech side Slavia Prague in 2014 in a €700,000 (£626,000) switch, earning himself a regular starting spot in the Czech Republic national side too.
Would Jankto adapt to the Premier League?
Jakub Jankto isn’t a name that has suddenly been plucked out of the blue this summer, with the Gunners – as per Gazzetta dello Sport – sending a scout to watch him in action during last season to keep an eye on him.
And it’s easy to see why Arsene Wenger has taken a shine to him, with his fearless and inventive style of play in the opposition half being a breath of fresh air, catching the eye of some of Europe’s top clubs.
After spending a year on-loan at Italian Serie B side Ascoli, making 30 appearances, he returned to his parent club a transformed man and has nailed down a starting role in the past 12 months after featuring 29 times in Serie A, scoring five times and assisting four more in an average Udinese side.
Jankto’s average of 37% shots on target last year – forcing the goalkeeper into action with 10 of his 27 shots from midfield – shows he has a good range on the edge of the area, and he is by no means shot shy.
Going away for a year at a lower side before coming back an impressing shows just how hard the youngster is willing to work to reach the top, and this attitude would surely be beneficial to Arsenal.
Numerous young players – just look at the likes of Marcus Rashford – have made the breakthrough into the Premier League in recent history, with their naivety and youthful exuberance ensuring they don’t feel any pressure, and Jankto comes across as someone who could have the same impact at Arsenal.
The only issue regarding a move for the Czech is that it is unclear as to where he would slot into Arsenal’s starting line-up, even in the long-term. There is certainly no shortage of attacking midfield options at the Emirates at the moment, and if anything they need investment in a more defensive midfield role.
Despite his endeavours Granit Xhaka has struggled since his arrival in London, failing to live up to the initial hype and potential, and Wenger would do better to spend his money here than on the Czech.