Why Roma have signed Czech U21 striker Schick

Roma have completed the loan signing of prolific 21-year-old Czech Republic striker Patrik Schick from Sampdoria – just what makes him so special? UEFA.com investigates.

Are Roma ready for the 'Czech Zlatan'?
Are Roma ready for the 'Czech Zlatan'? ©Getty Images

Following a fine first season in Italy with Sampdoria, and a UEFA European Under-21 Championship finals campaign with the Czech Republic, Patrik Schick has joined Roma on loan. UEFA.com gives him his due.

Name: Patrik Schick
Club: Roma
Position: forward
Nationality: Czech
Born: 24 January 1996
Preferred foot: left
Height: 1.90m

Current tally

Celebrating one of his 11 league goals for Sampdoria last term
Celebrating one of his 11 league goals for Sampdoria last term©Getty Images

Senior international: 5 appearances, 1 goal
U21 international: 12 appearances, 11 goals
UEFA club competition: 2 appearances, 0 goals
Domestic top division: 63 appearances, 18 goals

They say ...

"Patrik is one of the brightest prospects in international football. We are all very satisfied to agree this deal especially because, despite being chased by a number of clubs, he has chosen us."
Monchi, Roma sporting director

"Patrik was a great talent when I was his coach at Sparta. He is developing fast. It helped that he started at senior level very young. He reads the game very well and can score from any situation."
Vítězslav Lavička, Czech Republic U21 coach

Schick quickly won fans over at Sampdoria
Schick quickly won fans over at Sampdoria©Getty Images

"We need more Champions League winners in Czech football – enough to form an XI at least. If any of our young talents are going to do that, I would expect it to be Václav Černý, Jakub Jankto or Patrik Schick. Schick is on the most promising path, as the big clubs are interested in him."
Vladimír Šmicer, former Czech Republic midfielder

Background ...

After scoring 22 times in 29 matches for home-town club Sparta Praha's junior team, Schick made a few substitute appearances at senior level before bagging seven league goals during a 2015/16 loan spell at Bohemians Praha. Duly voted young player of the season, he promptly joined Sampdoria last July, confirming his promise with 11 goals in 32 games in his first Serie A campaign. Also overall top scorer in U21 qualifying with ten goals in nine games, he now has five senior caps.

Playing style ...

Schick knows he will have to stretch himself
Schick knows he will have to stretch himself©Sportsfile

Despite being a strapping 1.86m tall, the left-footed forward is very quick and skilful, capable of beating defenders with some florid touches. He welcomes a through ball to run on to, but also uses his height well at both ends of the pitch, defending set pieces and netting lots of headed goals.

Shades of ...

Zlatan Ibrahimović. Juventus vice-president Nedvěd, speaking when the club looked set to sign Schick earlier this summer, said: "When Ibra joined us [in 2004], he was in a similar state to Schick is now and then he grew into the player we know today. Patrik reminds me of him a bit: skilful, but tall and fast. If he keeps working, he will be a world-class player." Czech fans, meanwhile, have likened him to their national team's 55-goal leading marksman, the towering Jan Koller.

He says ...

"I know fans expect me to score every game. I admit, I do not enjoy that pressure to prove myself all the time, but I will have to deal with it. I will face expectations throughout my career. That cannot slow me down."

"Before every game I know defenders will pay attention to me, but I can handle that. They always try something on me, but I'm used to it. I read my opponents' game and then think up a way to outdo them."

"I need to improve in every department. I need more power in one-v-ones. When I see the defenders I play against in Italy, I know I still have a way to go."

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