Gillingham boss and boyhood Celtic supporter Steve Evans has claimed that Scott Robertson will start for the Bhoys next season.
Evans, whose managerial career includes spells at Leeds United and Peterborough United, made the claim following the Gills’ win against Bristol Rovers.
The Glasgow-born manager told Kent Online:
“I cannot give any bigger testament to an 18-year-old kid in Scott Robertson than to say he will play in the Celtic first team next season.
“He might not play every week but he will play for them.”
A hotly-tipped prospect
Scott Robertson, 19, has spent a lively 20-21 season on loan in League 1 with Gillingham and has impressed in his appearances so far.
Although his pass success rate is only at 69%, he makes 0.6 key passes a game and 0.8 tackles. That’s a decent return for a youthful midfielder (WhoScored?).
Evans spoke in glowing terms about his loanee, claiming:
“I know he is very highly thought of by all the coaching staff there. They had a representative at the game and he would have gone away thinking, ‘we have a good player there’, but they know it anyway.
“I thought he played with composure at times, with grit and determination, which is perhaps why they sent him here when three points matter, rather than playing academy games.
Evans, who spent his short playing career in Scotland, emphasised the need to use young players sparingly.
“If you are given the responsibility by Glasgow Celtic and Arsenal to look after players, to help them develop, to mature them, especially lads living away for the first time, then you have a responsibility like a manager and like a parent.”
The Gillingham boss’ comments will be music to the ears of Neil Lennon and Celtic’s academy director Chris McCart.
Robertson made one brief Europa League appearance for the Bhoys last season, but first-team football will only hasten his development.
The respect being shown by Robertson’s on-loan boss is a positive review of McCart’s work with the Celtic youngsters. Robertson is one of a number of Celtic players temporarily away from the club; Jonathan Afolabi is at Dundee, while Shved, Bayo, and Gutman are also developing elsewhere.
Gillingham are currently 12th in League 1. If Robertson can see more game time for the Gills, then it’ll do his career no harm at all.
Whether Evans is right about his prospects next season is up for debate. However, options in midfield, especially home-grown ones, are never a bad thing.