Patrick Roberts mystery cleared up; former Celtic star sent home ill as loan spell worsens

By Euan Davidson

December 19, 2020

Celtic’s former winger Patrick Roberts is once again in the news.

Tongues were wagging as the diminutive wide-man was left out of another Middlesbrough match-day squad today.

That came shortly after reports he could return to Manchester City (The Sun).

However, his absence was a necessity.

Roberts, now on his fifth loan spell away from Manchester City (Transfermarkt), was sent home with an illness.

 

Boro prospering without former Celtic man

The absence of Patrick Roberts didn’t matter much for Middlesbrough in the end. Boro romped to a 4-1 win away to Birmingham City (BBC), with strikes from Assombalonga, Savile and Wing, as well as an own goal.

The win lifted Boro into the play-off hunt, with Neil Warnock’s side climbing into 6th place after 20 games (Sky Sports).

We’ve already spoken about Roberts’ time at Middlesbrough. This week, the winger had been set for crunch talks with the Middlesbrough manager to sort out his game time.

While this latest setback is unfortunate, it’s not a definite end of the road for the former Fulham man in the North East. Given the current climate, his health is the most important thing.

Middlesbrough are doing fine without the former Celtic winger / (Photo by James Williamson – AMA/Getty Images)

Roberts scored 18 and set up 26 during two seasons at Celtic (Transfermarkt). Given the Bhoys’ struggles in wide positions this season, it seemed inevitable that Roberts to Parkhead talk would gather momentum.

Mikey Johnston is still recovering from injury, while Forrest is out until February at least. Mohammed Elyounoussi and Ryan Christie have filled in both positions, but Moi is on loan, and Christie has been linked with a move to Leicester City.