Brendan Rodgers is getting closer to a securing a permanent deal for Manchester City’s Patrick Roberts. Negotiation between the two club are at advanced stages, the only stumbling block being the price.
His loan spell at Celtic was brilliant, with Pep Guardiola still being a fan of the player and so may not be willing to let go of him that easily. Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers though seems certain to push through a deal and is hoping to complete the move using money the club are set to receive from the sell-on clause inserted when they sold Virgil van Dijk to Southampton, who is set to move again soon.
4 goals in 24 league appearances for Roberts is not impressive on the face of it. However, when you consider his actual number of minutes played, he provides either a goal or an assist every 107 minutes. By next season, you would expect that figure to improve to a goal or an assist every single game which is something Celtic cannot underestimate.
Including Champions League Qualifiers, the England under-20 star managed 2 goals and 2 assists in 9 European games. This shows that he is one of the few members of Celtic’s squad who can bridge the gap and perform just as well against the better teams in the continent.
Across all competitions, Roberts has provided a goal or an assist every 100 minutes for Celtic and with further improvement just about guaranteed, Celtic could have quite some player on their hands. Even if Roberts doesn’t see his long-term future in the Scottish Premiership, it would do all parties well to remember he is just 20-years-old and could use his time at Celtic as a proper stepping stone on to bigger things.
Celtic must realise that whatever sort of fee they pay to Man City, it would surely come back to them many fold in a couple of years time should Roberts feel the need to leave and move on to better things. Whatever happens, Roberts has a big future and so those mazy runs, cutting in from the right onto his favoured left foot will most likely be a regular sight for the next ten years or so.