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Totti Today: Le Schick, c’est Chic

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Edin’s got a new competitor in the ring: Enter Patrick Schick

AS Roma v Chapecoense - Friendly Match Photo by Paolo Bruno/Getty Images

First and foremost, apologies for the lame Chic reference there in the title, but damn, Le Freak, that’s one good disco song and impossible to resists when you’re near a dance floor. Something else that’s irresistible is Patrick ‘Slick Rick’ Schick. In his short cameos he just oozes talent and finesse, but it’s such a shame his minutes were limited up till now. Is his career finally taking off in Rome? It better be.

The Baby-Faced Assassin (what’s in a nickname) is training at full force nowadays and seems injury-free at last. He was on the bench against Genoa, played almost half an hour against SPAL but was benched again against Qarabag. Which was probably the wisest thing to do of Eusebio since it was a do or die game and things could have been messy.

After SPAL, Schick didn’t feel any particular pain or nuisances, so he seems healed and reborn, a new man. Well, boy actually, because he’s 21 but looks 12. Next up is Chievo, a tricky away game against the Donkeys. Dzeko seems to get the notch again, but don’t be surprised if Patrick comes on after 60 minutes or so. Eusebio believes in the kid, plus he would be crazy to ignore a man boy worth 42 or so million euros. Monchi and Roma gambled on this kid, they want to see a return on investment.

Schick is one of the hottest prospects in Italy and Europe but he won’t simply walk in the starting 11 of Roma just yet. Dzeko’s still the reigning capocannoniere of Serie A while Perotti just saved our asses in the CL and recently signed a new contract. Like I said in a previous Totti Today, he has a unique skill set and should play every game when fit. The third place up front seems vacant, but both SES and Gerson haven’t looked too shabby as well. They’re also young and eager to prove themselves, like Patrick. Cengiz has a bit more difficulties to adapt to life in Rome and could be loaned out in January now that Schick has returned to fitness.

Yet, Schick is and remains a striker, no winger, so he mostly aims for Dzeko’s place. In March Edin turns 32 and two games a week seems a lot for such a demanding position as the striker. A switcheroo between Dzeko and Schick every match until May is a possibility. Keep both fit and happy. It’s a clear guideline and fairest for all, although I reckon both want to play in prestigious games like Juventus, Inter, Lazio or the Champions League. And it’s also ambiguous. For example: is it acceptable to bench Dzeko, who let’s say just scored a hat-trick, a week later for Schick , who has been silent for three consecutive games? Hmmm, not that honest and healthy for one’s morale.

Could they play together up front? Can Patrick make the right wing his own? Can it work? Maybe, we haven’t seen enough of Schick to rule it out. Or adjust the formation so both men thrive. Di Francesco can try to play "Dzick" but does he have time and place to do so? In the Champions League you can’t take risks, especially not in the knockout stage and the pace set in Serie A by Inter, Juve and Napoli is ridiculous. There’s not a lot of room for experimenting if it’s not that necessary. There’s Cagliari and a Coppa Italia game coming up at home against Torino, perhaps then? Leaving out one of SES of Gerson is the only downside though.

Whatever Eusebio may do or switch or turn around, the comeback of Patrick Schick feels like a winter transfer on its own. Since July Schick was rarely at the disposal of Di Francesco, but that’s all in the past now. He’s a luxury to have on the bench, but he can be even better when he’s on the field. We just have to wait for his first goal and then his plane is off. And with both Dzeko and Schick on fire, Roma is ready to push the likes of Juve and Inter all the way for the Scudetto race.

For now Dzeko seems untouchable. But one day the old must pave the way for the youth, it’s the way of life. It won’t take long until Slick Rick opens his account and then keeps banging them in.

Have you heard about the new Roman craze ? Listen to me, I'm sure you'll be amazed

Big fun to be had by everyone. It's up to him, it surely can be done

Young and old are doing it, I'm told. Just one try, and you too will be sold

It's called Le Schick! They're doing it night and day. Allow him, he'll show you the way

Aaaaah freak out! Le Schick, c'est chic!