Midfielder | Sampdoria | Czech Republic
Jakub Jankto’s athletic attributes are obvious. At his best, the 22-year-old’s physicality, pace, and ability to power his way up the field like a turbo-powered tractor for 90 minutes makes it hard not to consider him some sort of own brand (and somewhat shorter) Sergej Milinkovic-Savic, dealing out hand-offs and shoulder-barges aplenty.
However, the above précis does a disservice to the Sampdoria man’s technical ability and intelligent approach to the game. His knack of arriving late into the penalty area to latch onto loose balls just begging to be hit demonstrates his mature appreciation of space and positioning.
What’s more, Jankto’s versatility and consistently good delivery from the flanks allows him to be deployed out wide as well as centrally. The fact he’s forging a reputation as something of a dead ball specialist just makes us love him even more.
2018 has been…
…slightly underwhelming. After an excellent start to the 2017/18 season, Jankto’s form dropped off in the second half of the campaign as he only found the back of the net once, and didn’t register any assists, before the Serie A term came to a close.
A summer switch from Udinese to Sampdoria (a loan with an option to buy) - we’re now pretty sure that the persistent links with Arsenal in were simply no more than canny shenanigans on the part of Jankto’s agent - is yet to restore him to his best.
Having generally featured from the bench so far this season, Jankto is clearly yet to earn Marco Giampaolo’s full trust.
We get the feeling this is a confidence issue, rather than anything else. A fairly barren spell in terms of end product, added to pressures that come with a new club environment, and the notion that Jankto may simply be doubting himself a little becomes a neat conclusion to draw.
It is vital that what may currently be regarded as a brief plateau does not become stagnation. There are still many areas in which Jankto must improved before he can be considered the finished article.
His admirable use of his strength and physical qualities going forward is one thing, but he must become a more competent contender of aerial duels. On top of that, the midfielder has to make himself a more prominent figure in the defensive third. His ball retrieval figures leave plenty to be desired and often all too often reduce him to the part of a passenger when his team come under pressure.
The potential and positive aspects are clear, but there’s plenty of room for growth. 2018 has been fine, but at 22 years old, 2019 must be better.
C+ Decent, but he can do better than that