The supersub tag is a double edged sword. On one side of the coin, it reflects a player’s ability to make an impact off the bench, a rare and valuable attribute. On the other, there’s usually a reason why the player in question is not being trusted to start.
Therefore, Everton fans may be a little concerned to learn that Patrik Schick, who Football Italia claims is on their radar with Romelu Lukaku’s future uncertain, has been handed just five Serie A starts all season for Sampdoria.
Yet, that does not tell the whole story. Schick, a 21-year-old Czech Republic international enjoying an impressive debut season in Italy after arriving from Sparta Prague has more goals (7) than starts (5) for mid-table Samp while all but one of his league goals have come from the bench.
Schick’s record would even make Ole Gunnar Solskjaer blush.
Furthermore, he averages a goal every 115 minutes in Serie A, a league still renowned for its defensive stinginess despite the likes of Mauro Icardi, Andrea Belotti and Gonzalo Higuain proving that prolific strikers can indeed thrive in the birthplace of Catenaccio.
Meanwhile, Lukaku, Everton’s talismanic striker who is enjoying the most prolific season of his career to date, finds the net every 117 minutes on average.
Though these impressive statistics do not guarantee that Schick could repeat the trick in England, the fact is that Everton are not exactly awash with players capable of making an impact off the bench – especially if the club turn down the chance to sign West Ham loanee Enner Valencia on a permanent deal.
Schick could certainly give Ronald Koeman a Plan B.