Celtic great Davie Hay believes the club should be going in for Patrick Roberts this summer.
Hay, a former Celtic scout, certainly knows a player when he sees one. It was he who identified the likes of Pierre van Hooijdonk and Jorge Cadete to sign for the Hoops. And he believes Celtic should get back in the mix for Roberts this summer.
The Englishman has just come off a tough season with Girona. He only made six starts during his time in Spain, and failed to suit La Liga’s style of play. This is symbolised by the fact that he failed to score a goal during his stint there.
And now, Roberts heads back to an all-conquering Manchester City team who just don’t need him. Speaking in the Evening Times, Hay believes that should add up to Celtic interest.
“One man that certainly could and probably should be a consideration for Celtic this summer is Patrick Roberts.
“The winger hasn’t really hit the heights we all know that he is capable of in Girona on loan from Manchester City this season, but he did exceptionally well at Celtic in his spell up in Scotland and he is still young at 22”
To say Roberts did well up here would be a real understatement, particularly during his first loan spell.
Celtic managed to snare Roberts for 18 months back in 2016. He managed 60 outings and scored 17 goals. When he returned for his second spell, injury stopped him from producing similar. Considering James Forrest was still a big player during those years, it was no mean feat that Roberts became our first-choice right-winger. Forrest did, of course, reclaim his spot in the 2017/18 campaign.
But it’s not all in Roberts’ stats either. It was his footwork, his ability to dazzle and leave opponents for dead. He wasn’t overly-pacey, but he was superbly gifted with unreal technical ability. He’s the kind of player Scottish football strongly lacks, and the kind of player Celtic perhaps do too.
Roberts is in the final year of his City contract next season (Transfermarkt). So Celtic could start talking to him about a potential switch for nothing in January.
But if Celtic are serious, they should splash some cash on him this summer and try to lure him away from the Etihad. Celtic may have also signed Maryan Shved for next season, but having Roberts could give us some real competition down both flanks.
There have been no reports of Celtic making a move for Roberts as of yet. But at this stage of the year, it’s very early days.