Why Jakub Jankto would be a handy signing for Rangers
According to Sky Italia (h/t Daily Record), Rangers have been credited with an interest in Czech Republic international midfielder Jakub Jankto, who currently plies his trade with Sampdoria in the Serie A.
As per the report, Rangers had been linked with a move for the 24-year-old in the summer while the midfielder was also previously touted as a potential target for Arsenal and AC Milan. The Gers signed Bongani Zungu on loan from Amiens before the deadline but Jankto is still very much on the radar of the Ibrox giants.
Jakub Jankto started his footballing education with Slavia Prague in the Czech Republic but never made a competitive appearance for his boyhood club. He was transferred to Italian outfit Udinese in 2014 and spent time on loan at Ascoli in the Serie B during the 2015-16 season, scoring 5 times in 35 appearances.
The 24-year-old made his first-team breakthrough for Udinese in the Serie A in the following campaign and went on to register 11 goals and 10 assists in 69 appearances over two seasons. Jankto then switched boats to join Sampdoria in the summer of 2018, initially on loan before completing a permanent transfer.
Jankto has continued to blossom into a quality central midfielder in the Italian top-flight, accumulating a decent tally of 5 goals and 7 assists in 66 outings for Sampdoria. A full international for the Czech Republic since 2017, Jankto has been capped on 27 occasions by his nation so far.
Jankto would add a lot of quality to Rangers’ midfield
Rangers had been linked with plenty of midfielders throughout the summer, including Preston’s Daniel Johnson and Russian international Daler Kuzyaev. The Gers, though, eventually capped off their transfer business with a season-long loan deal for South African international Bongani Zungu.
Zungu, however, is yet to make his senior debut for the club. He has recently been cleared to join first-team training after serving a quarantine period and it remains to be seen whether the South African manages to break into manager Steven Gerrard’s plans in the coming months. Rangers do have the option to sign him permanently next summer but that looks far from certain at this stage.
Gerrard already has an abundance of talent in his central midfield ranks. He has so far been happy to rotate the likes of Ryan Jack, Steven Davis, Glen Kamara, Joe Aribo, and Scott Arfield in his three-man midfield.
But, with Zungu yet to feature and make an impact, the door remains open for Rangers to monitor other midfield options and interest in Jakub Jankto certainly strikes the right chords. The 24-year-old ticks the box as a proven performer in one of the elite leagues in Europe, having made 126 career appearances in the Serie A. He is also capable of chipping in with some crucial goal contributions, as evident from his track record of 13 goals and 15 assists in the Italian top-flight. (h/t Transfermarkt)
As well as his experience and obvious pedigree, Jankto would also hand a significant boost to Gerrard’s squad dynamics. Essentially a box-to-box midfielder by trade, the Czech international is capable of playing further up the pitch as an attacking midfielder and also out wide on the right-hand side of the pitch, owing to his left-footed nature. Such a trait of versatility would offer Gerrard some valuable cover and competition in multiple areas of the pitch.
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With Davis nearing his twilight 35 and Arfield (31) also not getting any younger, Rangers will eventually need to line up some younger midfield alternatives in the market. Question marks also continue to linger over the quality of back-up attackers Jordan Jones, Greg Stewart, and Brandon Barker, with none of those players managing to grab their opportunities.
Suffice to say, Jakub Jankto certainly presents a more high-profile and dynamic option as compared to Zungu. Jankto still has his best years ahead of him at 24 and Rangers completing a deal for him in January would certainly be a massive coup.