Schick Watch 2017, our step by step tracking of the completely unexpected Patrik Schick to Roma transfer rumors, appears to be drawing to a close, as the latest reports indicate Schick and/or his representatives will meet with Roma tomorrow to hash out the final details on a potential €38 million transfer. In reaching this stage, Roma has outwitted and outlasted the likes of Juventus, Inter Milan, Napoli, PSG and I think even the Cleveland Cavaliers now that Isaiah Thomas’ hip appears shot.
In all seriousness, if this move does indeed close on Monday, full marks to Monchi for finding and seizing upon an asset that wouldn’t have otherwise been available. Look back in our expansive Roma Transfers: Summer 2017 section and you’ll see no mention of Schick until, well, until seven days ago when our Schick Watch began. While Schick may not be an ideal fit for the right wing (though he can certainly play it as you’ll see below), when a kid this incredibly talented becomes available, you strike first and ask questions later.
Is Schick good enough to play on the wing? pic.twitter.com/hYOhYks7zM— DeRossi's Tattoo (@RomaThings) August 26, 2017
As you can see, Schick, though seemingly too tall and lanky to be effective out wide, is remarkably nimble and creative, so he should be fine on the wing for the short term, and when combined with Diego Perotti, Stephan El Shaarawy, Cengiz Under and even Gregoire Defrel, should give Eusebio Di Francesco limitless lineup options up front.
Of course, this is all pure speculation. As Roma fans we tend to take things with enormous grains of salt until myth becomes fact, and given how frequently other clubs have interjected themselves into this mess, I won’t exhale until I see him shaking Monchi’s hand and posing for an awkward photo with Mauro Baldissoni.
To further your anxiety, the exact measure of the deal hasn’t been finalized yet either, to say nothing of any party signing off on the deal. Football Italia, via Sky Sports, reasons that Roma will take Schick on a rather convoluted loan deal, one in which Roma will pay an initial €6 million fee plus another €30 to €32 million bonuses, which may or may not be spread out over several seasons. Not exactly has confusing as the Bojan Krkic deal from several years ago, but it's definitely not a straightforward, turn-key deal.
Point being, for a kid this good and highly sought after, there are an awful lot of moving parts in this deal, so Roma better act fast to pin them down or risk losing out on Schick—the football world is replete with 11th hour transfer collapses.
But that’s just me being pragmatic. There is ample reason to celebrate this move, at minimum Schick profiles to be a Dimitar Berbatov-type player, while at best, dare I say the ‘Z’ word?
Get excited Roma fans, this kid could be massive.