Patrik Schick has been providing the goals for RB Leipzig, helping ease the burden on top scorer Timo Werner. - © Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
Patrik Schick has been providing the goals for RB Leipzig, helping ease the burden on top scorer Timo Werner. - © Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images
bundesliga

Patrik Schick: RB Leipzig's not-so-secret weapon coming good for trip to Tottenham Hotspur

What do you do when Timo Werner's tap of goals has temporarily run dry? If you have the foresight and circumspection of RB Leipzig, there is no need to worry since you have already prepared for such an eventuality by signing Patrik Schick.

Some may have questioned Die Roten Bullen's decision to sign Schick from Roma last summer. With Werner, Yussuf Poulsen and Emil Forsberg supported expertly by Marcel Sabitzer, the wealth of attacking talent at Julian Nagelsmann's disposal was virtually embarrassing.

Schick, Roma's club record signing when he joined them from Serie A rivals Sampdoria in 2017, had struggled to replicate his previous form with just five goals in two seasons in the Italian capital.

It was hardly one of those business cards which immediately grabs your attention, but then Leipzig have eyes capable of seeing beyond the big print on the surface. The 24-year-old, who plundered 11 goals for the Blucerchiati in his first season in Italy, having scored seven for Bohemians in the Czech top-flight, matched precisely the identikit Leipzig were seeking: young, naturally talented and with copious potential waiting to be tapped.

What they did was give him a chance.

Watch: Schick opens Leipzig account in style

"Just look at the numbers," he told Czech newspaper iDNES when asked if he felt better suited to the style of Leipzig compared to Roma. "We play one-touch football, we're fast and people get entertained when they watch us. We always want to play a spectacular brand of football."

The style of play Julian Nagelsmann is indoctrinating at Leipzig suits Schick down to a tee. On Matchday 22, he supplied an assist and scored his sixth goal of the season as they crushed Werder Bremen 3-0 to move back to the top of the Bundesliga for a night.

With Werner not adding to the 20 goals he had scored up to Matchday 18, Leipzig needed Schick to step up to the plate in a way that keeps their dreams alive of ending the season with something tangible. Schick, who has scored six in his last ten Bundesliga appearances, is certainly contributing to ensure that dream comes true.

"We want to win the league," he said. "This team's hungry for titles. We just need to keep pushing and winning points over the sides close to us in the league.

"We've got different options for every game and the most positive thing is that we're always dangerous and we all help each other out, and that makes it easier to score goals. We were rock solid against Werder and I don't recall them having a single chance."

Leipzig will have to be similarly solid on Wednesday when they put the Bundesliga to one side for a night and focus on the club's first ever taste of UEFA Champions League knockout football, with the first leg of their last-16 tie with Tottenham Hotspur in London.

Patrik Schick scored the crucial equaliser in RB Leipzig's 3-3 draw at Borussia Dortmund. - Alexander Scheuber/Bundesliga/Bundesliga Collection via Getty Images

"That's going to be a totally different game," Schick said. "We're going to have to prepare the best we can because we're heading to a great stadium in a unique competition, and we can't wait for it.

"I've already played one [Champions League] semi-final in England against Liverpool and so I've got some experience of that. It's going to be crucial that we don't concede away from home."

It would also be beneficial to score an away goal or two, and that is where Schick comes in more than handy, with half of his Leipzig goals so far scored on his travels.

Leipzig can therefore count themselves lucky to have such an option heading into the business end of the season, but luck hardly comes into it – they had carefully planned and prepared for this moment in the summer, when they took a calculated gamble on Schick.