Thursday August 17 2017
Schick can be Inter's Bergkamp

Patrik Schick could be the player Dennis Bergkamp never quite became at Inter, writes Richard Hall.

The role of the Trequartista, number 10 or even second striker has changed in recent years. Less time on the ball, more speed and the physical advancement in the game rendered many a plodding genius out of a job. The man who took a touch, summed up the situation and then produced a moment of magic, fell into history in the early 1990s, but there have been exceptions. Dennis Bergkamp was perhaps the best embodiment, although they are few and far between. Sampdoria’s Patrik Schick may just fill that role and, like the ‘Iceman’, he may also be heading to Inter.

It could have been quite different. Football has a funny way of throwing up obstacles and Schick seems to be learning how to hurdle. The boy from Sparta Prague was picked up by Sampdoria for €4m at the start of the season, despite hardly even featuring for the Czech outfit. He was homesick and seemingly looked like he couldn’t get a game for his new club either, but when he did make that first impact, he didn’t look back.

In 14 starts and 18 substitute appearances he scored 11 goals and provided five assists. These were not just any goals, as he proved he could score in big games, such as on his debut against Juventus, and that he could score the sublime too.

The Bergkamp comparisons began after his delectable goal against Crotone was arguably more impressive than the Dutchman’s against Newcastle many moons ago. Throughout the campaign many teams started to take note of the 21-year-old’s ability and fellow Czech Pavel Nedved made the comparison with Zlatan Ibrahimovic.

The ‘Old Lady’ followed Nedved’s advice and decided to bid €30m for the boy who was by now making a swift rise to stardom. Here came one of the biggest obstacles, as his medical revealed a cardiac irregularity. This was terrible news indeed, but after extensive tests he was eventually cleared as fit and healthy by club doctor Amedeo Baldari. His move to Juventus was off, but now the Nerazzurri stepped in.

The Czech forward could be exactly what Inter need. A lack of creativity has been a criticism for many seasons now. Ever Banega was the latest man to fail to produce, but with Luciano Spalletti’s faster and more direct approach, the thought of Schick hovering left and right of Mauro Icardi begs the question: could he be the perfect wingman for him?

There is always caution needed when talking of a player’s potential at a club before he has even signed, never mind started training with them. Look at Bergkamp himself, a majestic talent strangled by the rigid tactics of Serie A at the time, he was as guilty for not adapting too. Schick, after a season under his belt already, has adapted to the league and for a mid-table (no disrespect Sampdoria) club, he has shown his pace, calmness, and the glorious finesse of that rather lethal left foot.

What he could bring to Inter is innovation and an ability to create when things get static. Icardi has performed miracles in recent years with minimal support, but the addition of the young Czech could provide an extra supply route and also alleviate the pressure on Ivan Perisic.

It should also be made clear that Schick has an incredible work rate that sees him track back and do the more robust part of the game with vigour. He is no shrinking violet and could provide the ethic that Spalletti will demand from his players this term.

Alvaro Recoba is just one of the many divine left-footers who formed a love affair with the Curva. Schick, first and foremost, will be happy with this health, but now the obstacles have been removed and he can look to the future. What this holds is still unclear, but it could soon be in the black and blue of Inter.

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Have your say...
Why would Ascencio leave Madrid right now? Why would they let him? He's playing.

In response to Milan being unnecessary with Musacchio: you should remember that they had NO idea they could get Bonucci then. So that suggestion is ridiculous. Musacchio is better than Romagnoli. At least right now he is.

Inter have done very well. But they're still cluttered on the wings, and Vecino is an unnecessary move. Funny that the guy who begged to leave Fiorentina (Badeji) is the only who's still there.
on the 18th August, 2017 at 4:00pm
But I'm curious as to hear people's opinions -the writer and specifically Inter fans- on why Inter don't pursue Berardi. He's a genuine Inter fan, like Cassano was, but without being that guy. And for me, he's the most talented Italian since at least Cassano, if not Francesco Totti (probably). Even Balotelli reaching his potential probably isn't Berardi.

One so-so injured season, and now he's doubted? This guy can play at Barcelona, right now. Why would Inter not move for him?
on the 18th August, 2017 at 3:42pm
I haven't seen much of him, but have heard great things. Will be cool to see him somewhere other than Juventus. Tho I suppose that, had Dybala chosen to leave (or Juve been open to selling him), this guy could have fit in.

They currently have Jovetic, who not too long ago was saying "Not right now" to Barcelona, and fits that style. We'll see if Spalletti wants a winger (for now has Perisic). Jovetic can play middle. It will be interesting to see Spalletti's choices, as they have quality.
on the 18th August, 2017 at 3:40pm
Agree with you Raas, the Serie A title should be the expectation of this team, at the very least to finish within 10 points of Juventus.

Dreaming now, but Asencio if Inter feel really bold, just a little more than Vidal but what a player he looks!
on the 17th August, 2017 at 6:44pm
This will be a significant signing in the forward department for inter. If Inter manage to strike Cancelo deal than all left is to sign a strong tackling CB like Dragovic or Mangala. Jovetic & Kondo need to go, Mario & Eder should stay back, Pinamonti needs to be played more this season, If Gabigol goes than Inter should go for Berardi, Martial or Vasquez. I think this inter squad is a title winning squad & will go all out for the title & cup this season as no European commitments to play for.
on the 17th August, 2017 at 4:21pm
@Viktor Milan have indeed sign many players but my assessment is like Shevchenko's, there doesn't seem to be a clear plan on how to shape the team. We will see if they can gel but personally I feel Milan signed too many unnecessary players that are clogging the team, denying the likes of Locatelli, Calabria, and Cutrone game time. Chalhanoglu, Mussachio, Biglia, Conti, and Andre Silva (if Kalinic does join) seem redundant to me. Kessie, Bonucci, and Rodriguez are enough imo.
on the 17th August, 2017 at 2:39pm
Schick can be Inters Bergkamp? I certainly hope not since Bergkamp was utter shite for Inter...
on the 17th August, 2017 at 12:56pm
Kondo is a gifted player but he didn't apply himself enough, use his own initiative enough. This season he could have been stepped up for us, but his attitude sucks... I wasn't a big fan of Borja or Vecino coming in (because we had Kondo) but if he can't stand the competition, we get players who can.

The only bad aspect is discount we're offering Valencia on Kondo, and the potential of the high cost of Cancelo... I hope he's as good as the hype because D'Ambrosio is workrate and heart!
on the 17th August, 2017 at 12:49pm
why kondogbia can leave inter he is the best player and wuold be important and value
on the 17th August, 2017 at 10:39am
We needed a LB and a RB more than anything else, and both look promising!

At the start I wanted Schick and Berardi, would be happy with one or both... IF Eder stays (and I like him because he gives EVERYTHING on the pitch!) we need just one, we have great young talent in Pinamonti... I've been disappointed in Kondo, glad he is leaving now. Joao Mario I like very much, hope he is a starter with Valero and one other, Vidal? A great player but a lot of money just for the domestic matches this year
on the 17th August, 2017 at 9:51am
@Alex Gu

Keeping donnarumma, getting bonucci, conti, kessie, andre silva, list goes on... we got rid of bacca, honda,kucka soon niang and other dead wood.. yes your signings have been more on top then us... Cmon even an inter fan must admit that we have had a better mercato.
on the 17th August, 2017 at 7:30am
With Dalbert signed and Cancelo possibly on his way, Inter have addressed the two major flaws in their team. They probably need another strong back-up CB (not Mangala), and another 1 or 2 elsewhere.

The arrival of Schick and say, Berardi, would leave Inter with a strong selection of forwards who can all assist Icardi.

If Icardi stays fit and has Candreva, Perisic, Berardi, Schick, Valero and Mario feeding him, he could run amok and hit over 30 goals.
on the 17th August, 2017 at 2:24am
Man, this window turns out to be really great for Inter. With Cancelo & Schick coming and Kondogbia on the way out, Inter would finally have a complete squad and got rid of all the dead woods. They may have been more low key than Milan but I'd argue their signings have been a lot more on point and better than Milan. Having a competent sporting director and coach really does have a major effect. It's been YEARS since the squad's weaknesses are actually addressed properly.
on the 17th August, 2017 at 12:28am

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