While the Patrik Schick to Roma transfer was full of daily twists and turns, with nearly every club in Italy and even PSG attempting to hijack the move, it was a relative breeze compared to the Riyad Mahrez saga we endured all July. And here we are on day eight of Schick Watch 2017 and it appears as though the veritable eagle has landed; Roma has got their man.
By now you’re no doubt aware that Roma and Sampdoria have agreed to a €38 million transfer for the 21-year-old Czech striker. Earlier today Sampdoria president and Roman for life, Massimino Ferrero, confirmed the deal, while also expressing joy that Schick chose Roma over all other suitors:
I’m glad he went there…Now I can say that Schick is Roman and a ‘romanista’, and for us it’s a shock to have given him away. I’m glad he went to Roma because I was keen to take him there. The player’s happy. The important thing is that Roma treat him well because he’s a jewel.
Ferrero kept the hits coming when he spoke about Juve missing out on Schick:
Juventus already regret losing Schick...I knew that would happen. They wanted to do it ‘cacio e pepe’, but they didn’t know that I only eat tomato and basil. Schick can become the new [Francesco] Totti
We’ll have to save the pasta debates for another time...you know what? No. There’s nothing wrong with a classic cacio e pepe, sometimes you simply don’t have time to make a proper sauce, so it’s handy in a pinch, but nothing beats a pure and clean tomato basil sauce, though an Italian-American style Sunday gravy is pretty damn close. I’m also a fan of any pasta that includes calamari, but that’s just me. Though as I write this, I should admit that I’m eating tacos.
Anyway, back to it. I know the knee-jerk reaction is to compare the capture of Schick to the time Roma stole Juan Iturbe from underneath the Old Lady’s nose, but don’t. Looking back on it, Iturbe, even during his standout season with Verona, was a bit one dimensional, as his only calling card was his pace and ability to beat defenders off the dribble.
Schick, while miles away from being fully formed, is fresh off an outstanding rookie season, throwing up an 11 goal and three assist campaign in little more than 1,500 minutes. Even more impressive, those 11 goals were born off the back of a 60% shot accuracy and a 31% conversion rate; unsustainable? Sure, but how many other 20-year-olds have you seen reach those marks?
As far as the particulars of the deal are concerned, it seems as though Roma will pay an initial €5 million loan fee with a mandatory purchase clause worth an additional €33 million, though there is a rumor that portion is also spread out over several seasons. Also uncertain is whether or not his Roma deal includes a buyout clause, though it is rumored that Sampdoria will get a portion of a future sale.
Either way, Roma went in big for this kid, setting a new club transfer record, besting the 2000 transfer of Gabriel Batistuta by roughly €2 million. For their money, Roma are getting a raw but extremely talented attacking talent, one who will eventually find his home as a striker but for now will (or at least should) slot in as a right winger.
It’s not an ideal tactical fit in the short-term, and he still has a lot of growing to do, but the kid is just so incredibly talented, Roma had to pounce when the moment struck. So kudos to Maester Monchi and the crew for acting quickly to secure the suddenly available Schick.
So who is he? A modern day Berbatov? Mini Zlatan? Who knows, but let’s all practice patience while he figures it out. As we’ve seen with Iturbe, Roma can’t afford to get this one wrong.
For now, let’s just hope the medical goes off without a hitch and Schick can spring into action after the international break.