Tuesday June 20 2017

The soon to be Juventus striker continues his breakout season when his Czech Republic face Italy in the Under-21 Euros, writes Nick Valerio

Patrik Schick has had a 2017 to remember and it’s nowhere near over yet. After going from super-sub at Sampdoria to regular starter and €25m move to Juventus, he is with his country at the European Under-21 Championship in Poland, and will come up against some familiar faces when Czech Republic do battle with Italy on Wednesday.

As the focal point and golden talent of his generation, the Azzurrini will know all about him, and it will be interesting to witness who comes out on top in a tussle with soon to be club teammate Daniele Rugani. Looking forward, both are likely to share their best years together at Juventus.

You only have to look at his highlight reel of goals. The sheer audacity of his Dennis Bergkamp-esque skill and finish against Crotone, which put his name in lights. If you didn’t know the name already, you certainly do now. The elegant forward is not overawed, which bodes well for his future, and goals against the very best sides in the division mark him out as a player with great promise. To get on the scoresheet against Juventus, Lazio, Roma and Inter all in one season is no small feat.

Physically, the Prague native is still growing. Standing comfortably over six feet tall, the 21-year-old has the technical ability to compliment his height and has earned lofty comparisons. Compatriot Pavel Nedved compared Schick to a young Zlatan Ibrahimovic and, provided the player has the necessary temperament, he should thrive under the tutelage of Max Allegri.

Yet, with any signing there are no firm guarantees, particularly with inexperienced professionals, and question marks will hang over Schick, something which is part and parcel of playing for an elite club. One season in Italy’s top flight is not a fair indicator for how his career will progress and much of how the Czech star grows in the short-term will depend on Juventus and how they intend on using him. It’s imperative the player gets regular game time. Sitting on the bench on a weekly basis will stunt his development and a loan move back to Marassi may be the best immediate cause of action.

Yet following the inspired reinvention of Mario Mandzukic on the left flank, the Scudetto holders’ options upfront are a little short on numbers. Of course, the Croatian hitman is likely to play in his orthodox position again in future, but the current role occupied has been nothing short of a revelation and, most importantly, guarantees a starting berth.

Fellow attacker Paulo Dybala has also adapted his game. The diminutive Argentine performed in a more withdrawn role, and as a result, his goal tally was affected, scoring eight fewer goals than the previous campaign.

Gonzalo Higuain is currently the club’s sole out-and-out centre-forward going in to the 2017-18 season and this has been addressed by a swoop for Schick.

He is an impressive capture for Juventus. The Blucerchiati youngster has no shortage of suitors, with Arsenal, Tottenham Hotspur and Paris Saint-Germain all rumoured admirers for a player who may not be the finished article, but does have the magic x-factor.

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Have your say...
Arn Paul - Schick is a striker, so don't worry about it ;) See his goal vs the Danes today?
on the 25th June, 2017 at 3:04am
Schick is brilliant but will be difficult to play both him and Dybala together as both are extremely left footed. Schick 's right is probably slightly better than Paolo's so he needs to use his right more.
on the 24th June, 2017 at 12:09am
@Juveman. All winning teams have specialist players excelling in their positions. Lack of it certainly bit us in the second half of CL final. I can't imagine what went on in the dressing room at half time leading to our abject capitulation. A rushed approach in the first half rather than a controlled one like v Barca also didn't help in hindsight.
on the 22nd June, 2017 at 6:41pm
"One season in Italy’s top flight is not a fair indicator for how Schick's career will progress (sic)"

Yet somehow, with less than half a season under his belt, Roberto Gagliardini was crowned as the best young Italian talent in years by this very same and, may I add, idiotic site.

It's clear that a bunch of clowns compose and edit these articles...
on the 20th June, 2017 at 5:17pm
Schick must leave Juventus if he is to fulfil his potential.
on the 20th June, 2017 at 4:20pm

I totally agree 100% Higuain isn't capable of chaning system, Although maybe the best finisher in the world, he needs to desperately improve in different aspects
This will hinder other player's development sadly
on the 20th June, 2017 at 2:23pm
This kid is the best signing of the summer. By the end of next season he should start and replace Higuain. He needs to fill out more and put on a touch more muscle, but he'll be a top striker, with amazing skill when he has the ball at his feet.
on the 20th June, 2017 at 2:02pm
Mandzu was excellent this year but it's time to change it up and have players playing in the role they excel at like Daniel Pennuto mentioned. having the entire team do a bit of everything is for when you have a severely inferior team and no top 3 team makes they're superstar strikers do that amount of work cause it bites you in the a$$ when its time to attack.
on the 20th June, 2017 at 1:24pm
@mnm- I agree with you totally. And we're obviously not gonna sit a 100mil player. BUT I would hope allegri would at least try different stuff out for the UCL cause higuain is a bit hopeless there and we need a different approach. Besides higuain is pretty good in the serie a and coppa. So who knows maybe then have dybala in the center where he can drop deep and roam between the lines and have costa and pjaca or cuadrado running loose on the wings.
on the 20th June, 2017 at 1:21pm
Im starting to find tht the attacking options will continue to suffer frm the reason tht Higuain can only play alone n he is pretty bad at it too. Dybala is plying his trade in an unorthodox position, same goes with Mario, all becuz of Higuain couldnt link well with anybody. Doesnt matter adding more strikers, as long as Higuain plays hell be the sole striker and other strikers must either find ways or sit on the bench. This leave Juve in a position of fitting players where thy shld not be in!
on the 20th June, 2017 at 12:46pm
I do not believe for one second that Mandzukic has a guaranteed starting spot. The very opposite is true, considering our steady pursuit of Costa, perhaps also one of Keita and Bernardeschi. It is about time we had specialist players for each position.

I would add that Schick is also able to deputise for the wingers/wing-forwards and Dybala. He likes to play from a little deeper, though cannot be expected to defend.
on the 20th June, 2017 at 9:33am

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