Celtic boss Ange Postecoglou's Patrick Roberts call backed by his former coach
The news circulating today about Celtic’s apparent interest in Patrick Roberts is interesting on a number of fronts.
The Athletic have reported this week that Roberts and Postecoglou had a conversation about a return to Glasgow last summer but was not convinced by his ‘single-mindedness’.
First of all, by last summer, everyone had assumed the Roberts and Celtic relationship was long over. He’d already made it clear he wanted to pursue a career elsewhere and, frankly, he was hardly setting the world alight.
That he was an option in the first place for Ange Postecoglou perhaps tells you where Celtic’s scouting and player recruitment was at the time.
Secondly, Postecoglou clearly had the foresight to not bring players to the club who didn’t fit into his collective mindset and where he wants to bring Celtic over the next few years.
It’s a decision that’s been backed by former Celtic player and coach Peter Grant, who also worked with Roberts at Fulham where he emerged as a youngster.
Grant reckons Ange has got the call spot on, telling The Go Radio Football Show this evening [17:15]: “I had Pat as a young man at Fulham. He was a terrific young player. There’s things in his game that I feel he’s not improved enough and I can see why Ange probably wouldn’t take him back, because it’s more about the team ethic at this moment in time.
“Young Abada’s gone in and done terrifically well. He’s more productive in terms of goals and he’s probably looked at that.
“It’s easy to say somebody’s got the talent, and Pat’s no doubt got that. I think it was £10million we sold him to Manchester City for. But the thing for us was that Pat needed to go out and play.
“Was he going to play at Manchester City? No, I don’t think that was going to be the case but the loan process was going to work fantastically well for him. He’s a Celtic-type of player but do they need him at this time? I think Ange has made the right call to be perfectly honest.”
I still appreciate Roberts for what he achieved at Celtic. He was a thrilling watch when on top form. I also want to see his career turn out in a satisfactory manner for him.
However, Ange, Grant and any other Celtic supporter understanding he isn’t the right fit for the boys is correct.
The manager is building a committed core and the one thing you can never really say about Roberts is that he was ever committed fully to Celtic.
Fingers crossed his Sunderland move works out for him and we can all move on. The future is exciting without the winger in Glasgow.