Arsenal Transfer News: Latest Rumours on Jakub Jankto and Kieran Gibbs

James Dudko@@JamesDudkoFeatured ColumnistSeptember 12, 2017

UDINE, ITALY - AUGUST 20:  Jakub Jankto  of Udinese Calcio l in action during the Serie A match between Udinese Calcio and  AC Chievo Verona at Friuli Stadium on August 20, 2017 in Udine, Italy.  (Photo by Dino Panato/Getty Images)
Dino Panato/Getty Images

Arsenal are reportedly one of a host of clubs still scouting Udinese playmaker Jakub Jankto. The Gunners face competition from Serie A duo AC Milan and Juventus for the Czech Republic international, according to Calciomercato.com.

The report noted how Arsenal, Juve and the Rossoneri all "keep monitoring" Jankto. A dynamic midfield schemer, Jankto has previously spoken fondly about the Premier League, although his recent social media activity, including posting a drawing of Juve striker Paulo Dybala on Instagram, could indicate he prefers to remain in Italy, per the report.

Supposed hints on social media aside, Jankto is an interesting target for the Gunners. In terms of playing style, he's perfectly suited to the game Arsenal manager Arsene Wenger loves his teams to play.

Jankto is comfortable on the ball and can boss matches with technique and vision. He has already showcased his creative qualities this season by registering a goal and an assist, per WhoScored.com. The same source details how Jankto scored five times and supplied four assists in the Italian top flight last season.

Jankto displays the class in possession to suit Arsenal.
Jankto displays the class in possession to suit Arsenal.Dino Panato/Getty Images

This isn't the first time the Gunners have been credited with an interest in Jankto. Back in July, the player's agent, Beppe Riso, told Sportitalia (h/t Charles Perrin of the Daily Express) how Arsenal were enamoured with Jankto.

There were similar rumours of Arsenal interest as far back as April, per TuttoMercatoWeb.com (h/t Jack Otway of the Daily Express).

It makes sense for Wenger and the Gunners to be running the rule over technically gifted midfielders. The squad misses the class of the injured Santi Cazorla in the middle.

Cazorla has been left out of the club's Premier League squad for the first half of this season, per Sky Sports, as he continues to recover from an Achilles injury.

Meanwhile, oft-injured Jack Wilshere has been linked with a switch to Turkish side Fenerbahce in the January transfer window, per Tom Hopkinson of the Daily Mirror.

Injury issues for Cazorla and Wilshere make central midfield a suspect position for the Gunners.
Injury issues for Cazorla and Wilshere make central midfield a suspect position for the Gunners.BEN STANSALL/Getty Images

One player the Gunners were happy to move on this summer was left-back Kieran Gibbs. The England international defender joined West Bromwich Albion in the final days of the transfer window.

However, Baggies manager Tony Pulis has revealed how Arsenal may have taken a £7 million loss on Gibbs. Pulis was keen to stress West Brom eventually got their man in a cut-price deal, per James Benge of the London Evening Standard: "The £12 million that Arsenal were talking about at the beginning of the season was too expensive. To get him for £5 million over a period of time now is a good deal for us."

Benge noted how Arsenal offloaded Gibbs for an initial £5 million with a further £2 million tied up in contract add-ons. It's a fee many may consider meagre, especially in a market defined by inflated fees this summer.

However, Gibbs' exit was inevitable after losing his starting place to Nacho Monreal in 2013. Wenger's decision to add left-sided defender Sead Kolasinac on a free transfer this summer made Gibbs surplus to requirements.

Gibbs reportedly left for West Brom at a reduced fee.
Gibbs reportedly left for West Brom at a reduced fee.Dan Istitene/Getty Images

Recouping something for a player who had fallen out of favour and was entering the final year of his contract still represents solid business for Arsenal. The fact the position is now one of strength, thanks to Monreal and Kolasinac, makes it easier to forget about how much money Gibbs' sale did or did not generate.

It's a different story in central midfield, though, where the Gunners need an infusion of numbers and talent.

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