England’s Under-20 winger Patrick Roberts will tell Manchester City that his preference is to rejoin Celtic on loan despite interest from Nice, BBC Sport reports.
Hoops fans are already getting exciting about the prospect of Roberts returning to Parkhead after the sublimely gifted attacking midfielder spent 18 months on loan in Glasgow, helping Celtic win a momentous domestic treble and scoring a total of 17 times for the club.
Brendan Rodgers’ side didn’t lose a domestic match last season and they are already rolling at the start of this campaign. Although their game against Hearts was a joy to watch, things were slow during the third round Champions League qualifier against Rosenborg. Injuries to their key players didn’t help, but there was a sense that Roberts’ superior skills would have made a difference.
He’s currently back in Manchester City waiting for his next move, and the Premiership champions are keen to bring the prodigious talent back to Scotland.
If Roberts returns, what could his impact be? Could he carry on how he did last season?
The 20-year-old winger stole the hearts of fans and became an instant favourite with his uncanny ability on the ball, his long range goals and eye-catching skill. Because of his abilities, there’s no doubt that he would slide straight back into their first team.
Should he return, manager Brendan Rodgers would be sure to use him on the right of Celtic’s front four. It will give him the chance to work on his craft and, more importantly, boost his confidence further – which in turn would help Celtic because it would make him play better.
Not to mention it would solve Celtic’s striker crisis if Roberts did return.
The search for another attacker has been the Hoops boss’ main priority over this summer’s transfer window now that Moussa Dembele is unavailable until September due to injury, but rather than looking for another front man when he has Leigh Griffiths, Rodgers has focused his efforts into finding a winger who can step up front when required.
Through his previous performances for the Bhoys, Roberts has proved that he fits this position perfectly.
Landing Roberts would be a massive plus for Celtic: he can play as a striker, a winger, can make assists, can create chances, and has the skill and bravery to go up front and go for goals himself when he can see he has a clear shot. He’s not afraid to step out his area when required.
Also, when a player moves from one club to another there are several variables which would naturally have to be taken into consideration: How do they plan on using the player? What’s his personality like? Will they get the best out of him? Could he work well with the existing squad?
With Celtic, Rodgers already knows the answer to these questions, which will save Celtic time and energy knowing in advance how exactly the player will fit into the team.
Not only can Rodgers be trusted to use Roberts in the right way, but he’ll know from his achievements from last season (especially the second half) that he is an excellent mentor on the training field, too. He has thoroughly improved the form of many of Celtic’s stars including the likes of Callum McGregor, Stuart Armstrong and Dedryck Boyata.
The big dream in the hearts of every Celtic fan is the 10-in-a-row, which Celtic hope to achieve now that they are already six titles down, as well as the possibility of clinching back-to-back trebles for the first time in Scottish history. Roberts could play a massive role in making both of these achievements possible.
(Featured Image: celticnewsnow.com)