Czech football prodigy Schick signs with Roma

It is official: football prodigy Patrik Schick, who made his mark on Czech junior teams, briefly in the Czech league and especially with Sampdoria in Italy’s Seria A, has signed with Roma.

Patrik Schick, photo: CTKPatrik Schick, photo: CTK The 21-year-old striker signed for five-years in a club-record transfer worth 42 million euros.

What kind of a player is Schick, who will wear the number 14?

That was a question I put to Czech football journalist Karel Haring.

“He is very much a ‘complete’ forward: he is tall but technically skilled, he can play with both his left and right, he is good in the air, and his biggest strength is that he is a clinical finisher. He can score inside or outside the penalty area but he is not only a scorer he can also run, set the pace and create space for others. And he can shoot and score.”

Generally-speaking, how good a fit is he for Italy’s Seria A? Or Roma for that matter, as he was long expected to go to Juventus…

“It’s a tough league and there is a lot of demands in terms of tactics. That said, he did very well at Sampdoria and surprised everyone by how well he did.”

There was a slight heart issue in the summer which is what derailed the Juventus deal after a failed medical… Will that be in any way a concern moving forward?

Pavel Nedvěd, photo: Pavel Lebeda, CC BY-SA 2.0Pavel Nedvěd, photo: Pavel Lebeda, CC BY-SA 2.0 “I don’t know the details but I don’t think so. The issue was that he was just very tired after a long and tough season and that issue was corrected after he took time to rest. I think he will be alright. Certainly, he was probably disappointed that the Juventus deal fell through, but I actually think that Roma will be better for him. The competition to play at Roma still be tough but perhaps slightly better than at Juventus. I think Roma will be good for him as a player.”

The deal puts him financially in the company of former Czech footballers like the furia cieca Pavel Nedvěd. In terms of talent, could he reach similar heights?

“It is hard to say because when Nedvěd was at his peak he was one of the best in the world. But Schick can certainly get even better, he is only 21. If he keeps the focus on football he could achieve a lot and be like Jan Koller or Milan Baroš were at the club level. I say club level, because it will be tougher for him to score as many goals as they did on the national team because they had a great team behind them and that is not the case now.”