Manchester City have once again allowed Celtic invincible Patrick Roberts to join Middlesbrough on loan.
The young winger has today completed his season-long move to the Championship side, and will operate under veteran manager Neil Warnock this term.
It’s now Roberts’ sixth different loan spell since signing for City back in 2015 – including his two stints at Celtic Park.
Roberts has been speaking to the Championship club’s official website, and it appears he’s delighted to be back in the city where his initial loan spell was cut short last term due to the pandemic.
“It feels normal for me. I’m coming back to a place where I know I can just get my head down and enjoy my football. I was injured for a long time last season, which was difficult.
“Coming now there are more games, more game-time which is a big positive – with 40-odd to go hopefully I can stay fit and contribute.”
A player Celtic should keep an eye on this season
Given Roberts’ lack of football, you could see why the Hoops may have thought twice about bringing him back to Glasgow this season.
When he’s on his game, Roberts can cause real havoc up in Scotland. With 44 direct goal contributions in 78 appearances for the Hoops in recent years, the Englishman has proven his worth here in the past (Transfermarkt).
Considering James Forrest appears to be out for a substantial period of time, it perhaps could’ve been an easy option to bring Roberts back this summer. It’s clear there wasn’t a big fight for his signature, and a move back to Parkhead would surely have been attractive for him.
But this could work out well for Celtic. It gives the Hoops the chance to monitor his progress over the coming campaign, with a potential view to going for him next summer. Roberts would then be into the final year of his contract – meaning a potential cut-price deal could be a goer.
It would be the perfect opportunity for the club to try and land the Englishman permanently, so long as he gets a run of games under his belt down south this season.
His loan move to Boro is hardly a surprise, but it’ll be extremely interesting to see how he fares down there over the course of a full campaign.