We’re perfectly thrilled with the relatively low-cost additions of Marco Sportiello and Riccardo Saponara in this January mercato, but la Repubblica claims that Pantaleo Corvino was angling for a third young star to add to what’s shaping up to be a very promising young Fiorentina core. Sampdoria revelation Patrik Schick was his final target, but the Genovese club turned down €15 million for their young star.
The striker joined Sampdoria from Czech giants Sparta Praha, the club he grew up in and showed a good deal of promise for as a teenager. €4 million was too much for them to pass up, though, and he moved this past summer. Despite spending the first half of the year in a substitute role, he’s scored 5 goals in 17 Serie A matches and is creeping up on the hallowed goal-every-90-minutes standard by which forwards are measured.
Blessed with size, strength, pace, and quickness, he’s also got good technique on the ball and a powerful shot with his left. It’s his composure and his positioning, though, that really stand out, as he’s excellent at finding creases of space in the box and rifling home. Honestly, he’s a bit like a pacier, more technical Nikola Kalinic, albeit without the holdup game yet.
It’s not surprising, then, that Samp want to hang onto him at all costs. Not only is he the perfect foil for Luis Muriel, but he’s a burgeoning superstar in his own right, already with 3 caps for Czechia and a goal to his name. Massimo Ferrara turned down the €15 million for his star, citing a previously unknown release clause of €25 million. If he finishes the year the same way he’s been going, someone is going to trigger it sooner rather than later.
Fiorentina has as many stories about transfers that nearly happened but didn’t quite work out as any other club (Dimitar Berbatov and Sergej Milinkovic-Savic spring to mind), but this one could sting particularly badly in about 3 years when Federico Bernardeschi, Federico Chiesa, and Riccardo Saponara have gelled into the most dangerous attacking band in Italy. Schick could have been the perfect finisher for the creative trio, but it’s the sort of thing we’ll only ever find out about on Football Manager.