Schick and Serie A: a story of ups and downs

by | Jun 14, 2021 21:25

Patrik Schick scored the goal of the tournament so far and Lorenzo Bettoni wonders what went wrong for him in Serie A.

“What a goal”, “Out of this world”, “Holy Schick.” Social media did not lack for imagination when commenting on the goal from the former Sampdoria and Roma man who gave Czech Republic an unpredictable 2-0 win against Scotland at Hampden Park, in their debut game of Euro 2020.

Schick scored twice and his second goal is the furthest distance a goal has been scored from at both the European Championships and the World Cup.

Many Roma fans may still be asking themselves if this Schick is the same guy who missed a sitter in stoppage time of an away game against Juventus in December 2017.

The striker had joined the Giallorossi in August after an endless summer of negotiations. He was close to joining Juventus. Actually, that was so close it was incredible as Schick had undergone his medical with the Old Lady who were set to sign him from Sampdoria.

However, the deal collapsed after a heart condition was discovered. He spent the summer undergoing further medical examinations and eventually joined Roma from Sampdoria.

Schick had played one season at Marassi scoring 13 goals in 35 appearances, most of them as a sub. Perhaps, during his time at Samp, he could have learned some tricks from Fabio Quagliarella, a player who is not new to scoring screamers and goals that seem impossible to many, as all the bicycle kick efforts or halfway line goals show.

Schick was unable to produce the same at Roma where his experience seemed to be over that night in Turin. The former Samp man scored just eight goals in 58 appearances with the Giallorossi and then joined RB Leipzig on loan with an option to buy in the summer of 2019.

Despite 10 goals in 28 appearances, the Bundesliga side did not make his move permanent and Schick joined Bayer Leverkusen instead on a permanent €26.5m deal, an offer that Roma could not reject.

His goal against Scotland showed Schick’s true self. He may not be a man who scores 30 goals per season, but he is indeed capable of producing masterpieces that Sampdoria fans know all too well.

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Schick was probably out of his depth at Roma where he arrived after tumultuous months spent in hospital to have his heart checked after the biggest club in Italy, and one of the best in Europe, had first signed and then ditched him.

Watching him play in a Giallorosso shirt, you could almost feel he didn’t have the same self-confidence he had shown at Samp. He wasn’t even trying to score those super goals that convinced the Capital outfit to invest more than €40m to sign him. How could he when he wasn’t even scoring the easiest ones?

The 25-year-old needed to find self-confidence and a peaceful place without all the pressure a young striker can feel in Italy. His time in Germany has given him what he needed.

Schick has 23 goals in 64 games since he moved to the Bundesliga. He may never be the 30-goal striker José Mourinho is chasing for his Roma side, but he can be a very entertaining and even decisive one. Schick’s compatriots hope he can follow Milan Baros’ footsteps, while Roma fans will continue to ask themselves if they ran out of patience too quickly with him.