Patrick Roberts has become an important player for Celtic as his 18-month loan stint from Manchester City has elapsed. The 20-year-old scored 6 league goals in the first part of his loan spell last season, and has kicked on in the 2016-17 campaign with 7 goals and 12 assists in the Scottish Premiership. He also scored against his parent club in the Champions League in December, making City fans take notice of his abilities.
Roberts, who recently made the decision to snub England’s U-20 World Cup campaign in favour of seeing out the season at Celtic, can help the Hoops to a treble if they beat Aberdeen in the Scottish Cup final at the end of May.
After that, the speedy winger will return to Manchester City and is expected to be involved in the pre-season tour of America, where Pep Guardiola will have a good look at him and decide if he will be part of the first-team squad next season.
If Pep decides not to integrate the former Fulham youngster, his next move will be crucial for his development. Roberts has enjoyed his loan spell at Celtic, but could he join on a permanent deal if Guardiola eventually decides to sell him?
The Daily Record asked Celtic boss, Brendan Rodgers, this very question and he couldn’t hide his interest in keeping Roberts.
“He’s a player we would love to have here permanently, of course, but we have to respect he’s still a Manchester City player,” Rodgers said.
“But if there’s ever a possibility of doing it, then it’s something I would look at.”
In Roberts, City not only have a potential superstar, but a player who would also classify as home-grown and save them a transfer fee on another winger, with Jesus Navas and Nolito not long-term options to rotate with Leroy Sané and Raheem Sterling. For now, Roberts’ focus is on helping Celtic complete an historic season, and then his future will come into focus.
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