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Opinion: AC Milan must make a move for Jakub Jankto

Francesco Pecoraro/Getty Images

Jakub Jankto is currently being monitored by both AC Milan and Arsenal, but the Italian top flight is where he has flourished and created a name for himself.

In a recent interview, Jankto’s agent Beppe Riso told Fabrizio Romano of Calciomercato.it that the Czech international is focused on Udinese and a potential transfer will only be considered at the end of the season. With this being said, Milan will likely attempt to bolster their midfield after Lucas Biglia’s disappointing start thus far and them once again having to rely on the aging Riccardo Montolivo. Milan was rumored to be after Jankto this past summer, and his success in Serie A, in addition to his young age, would make him ideal for the rebuilding club.

Jankto is becoming a complete box-to-box midfielder and would create an imposing midfield alongside current Rossoneri star Franck Kessié. He’s mostly known for his technical ability on the ball which is wise beyond his years, but his height and strength also allows him to overpower defenders and shield the ball in order to maintain possession. A central midfielder by trade, Jankto has also been seen playing in a more advanced ‘trequartsita‘ role and on the left side of the field. His versatility would be welcomed in a Milan midfield that mostly features players capable of a single position.

Kessié has a knack for going forward, and understandably so as Milan’s other midfielders have struggled to create in the final third, but the Ivorian often allows chances to go to waste as he constantly attempts near-impossible long range shots. Jankto’s addition would relieve Kessié of most of his attacking duties and allow him to focus on what he’s best at – being a ‘mediano‘ and Milan’s enforcer.

UDINE, ITALY – DECEMBER 10: Jakub Jankto (R) of Udinese Calcio competes with Btight Gyamfi of Benevento Calcio during the Serie A match between Udinese Calcio and Benevento Calcio at Stadio Friuli on December 10, 2017 in Udine, Italy. (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)

In 13 appearances so far for Udinese this season, Jankto has racked up three goals and three assists. His pass completion percentage of 78.6 is very solid, but this can be worked on as he expands his range of passing which will come with experience and surrounding himself with high quality teammates. He also averages nearly one tackle and one clearance per game, which is impressive considering he tends to focus more on going forward.

Milan have had above-average statistics in the majority of games they’ve played. The team typically dominates lower-placed teams when it comes to passes and possession, but where they really struggle is creating chances in the final third and finishing attacks. This shouldn’t come as a surprise when the midfielders deployed are more defensive-minded. Kessié has his blistering runs up front every now and then, but doesn’t always find his open teammate. Montolivo has regained form recently and has been a defensive stalwart, but seems to lose focus once he approaches the opposing team’s box. Jankto wouldn’t be an immediate savior to Milan’s issues, but he will definitely help and prove to be a trustworthy starter.

The Udinese star is approaching his 22nd birthday and has plenty of time to grow and reach his potential. Sealing his transfer could also complete Milan’s midfield for years to come. Jankto and Kessié seem to complement each other perfectly on paper, while rising star Manuel Locatelli has the defensive intensity and ‘grinta‘ to become a household name in Italian football. Jankto has revealed his admiration of the English Premiere League in the past, so Milan must swoop in quickly to make the smart transfer that will surely pay dividends before teams such as Arsenal do.

@ItalianFD

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