"The arrival of David Zima concludes the transfer period for the first team, whose goal was a significant strengthening of the squad for 2024. We want to fully utilize the opportunities in all three competitions. Try to advance from the Europa League round of 16, contend for the title, and prepare for the Champions League battle. We brought in three Czech national team players in their prime footballing age - David at 23, Ondřej Zmrzlý at 24, and Jindřich Staňek at an ideal goalkeeper age of 27. Three experienced players who will immediately strengthen the team, complemented by the great talent Malick Diouf. For the first time in a long while, we could afford not to sell any key starting player, which in itself is a significant reinforcement," says Jaroslav Tvrdík, Chairman of the Board of SK Slavia Prague, regarding the transfer.
"We have acquired a player with extensive European experience, having played against top clubs such as Nice, Leverkusen, Leicester, or Arsenal. And he performed well. He is a player who, at 23, has 19 appearances for the national team, knows the club, the system, the environment, and fits precisely into the style of play we practice. We have a very offensive team, and David is one who focuses a lot on defense, stepping onto the field with the aim of not conceding, securing teammates. Moreover, he is over 190 centimeters tall, strong in aerial duels, very fast, and has excellent stamina. In every respect, we are getting a player who is already mature in his age, and we are very happy about it," says Jindřich Trpišovský, the head coach, excitedly.
"I never really left Slavia because I stayed in the players´ WhatsApp group until now. I wanted to remain in the group, and we agreed they would let me stay to stay in touch with the players and coaching staff, to know what´s happening at the club. I want to thank the coaching staff and Mr. Tvrdík for what they did for me. I am ready to do my best for Slavia, whether on the field or elsewhere," said the determined 23-year-old national team defender David Zima after the transfer.
Nine months to three trophies David Zima joined Slavia in January 2020 from Sigma Olomouc, having made two appearances in the top league at the time of signing. Immediately after his arrival, under coach Jindřich Trpišovský, he began making his way into the lineup. He played the first two matches as a defensive midfielder, filling in for Tomáš Souček, who had moved to West Ham.
During the first six months at Slavia, he played twelve matches, contributing to eight clean sheets with solid performances. In the Championship Round, he scored his first and only goal in red and white, a close-range shot from a corner kick in a 3-1 victory over Baník Ostrava. He rounded off the dreamy six months with a home game against Plzeň, after which Slavia celebrated their 20th title. There was little time for celebration as the young center-back had his graduation the next day. He handled the test of maturity as skillfully as he did with opposing attackers.
In the 2020/21 season, Zima became one of the key players in Slavia´s defensive lineup alongside Ondřej Kúdela. In Europe, he was absent only in the unsuccessful matches against Midtjylland and Beer Sheva and due to yellow cards in Glasgow. He played the complete two-game series against Leicester, where he successfully guarded the opponent´s attacking stars and significantly contributed to clean sheets in both matches. In the league season, he played 21 matches for Slavia, helping secure thirteen clean sheets, adding one assist, and lifting the championship trophy for the second time. The fantastic season was further highlighted by winning the MOL Cup.
Zima moved to FC Turin in July 2021, playing 34 league matches in two and a half years in the wine-colored jersey. As a member of the starting lineup during the November international break, he helped the Czech national team qualify for the European Championship. He played the full minutes against Poland and Moldova.
David, welcome back home!