Celtic probably won't be splashing the cash on Paddy Roberts this summer

By Ruari Macneil

January 13, 2018

With the youngster stepping up his return to fitness, this could well be Paddy’s last half season in a hoops shirt
Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’sSl4CuxTQc1ire7RwotXdA’,sig:’ToO6WrhIij3xSonVjQdHSQStjKO0UOClZCwht2gsbKs=’,w:’594px’,h:’497px’,items:’879626484′,caption: true ,tld:’co.uk’,is360: false })});

It’s refreshing to see Patrick Roberts return to training with the Celtic squad away in Dubai. Since the 20-year-old’s injury against Motherwell in late November, the club has seriously missed his presence – either starting on the right wing, or coming off the bench to replace Forrest.

Roberts always adds a spark to the game, and his touch and control is second to none. When the ball is at his feet you can appreciate his footballing pedigree. Doubtless he will play a big role for Celtic in the latter half of the season.

But beyond this season what are the chances of retaining Roberts’ services in Glasgow? Will it be possible for Celtic to broker yet another loan deal? Or even better, does the club wish to splash the cash to land him on a permanent deal?

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’PT0EO3nBRVNoWO5Q4QiM2Q’,sig:’m2MdbiZ-Gk9n1OvjkAn8_A8tHkzJke_cDRaAuZ6EEp4=’,w:’594px’,h:’396px’,items:’819925750′,caption: true ,tld:’co.uk’,is360: false })});

With Raheem Sterling, Leroy Sane, Gabriel Jesus, Sergio Aguero – and potentially Alexis Sanchez – it’s difficult to see Roberts getting a proper run in the team at Manchester City. But a permanent move might be contingent on two main things – the player’s will to come to Glasgow for the long-term, and Celtic’s desire to pay out what will probably be a fairly significant transfer fee for a relatively unproven talent.

Embed from Getty Imageswindow.gie=window.gie||function(c){(gie.q=gie.q||[]).push(c)};gie(function(){gie.widgets.load({id:’KMBQKkB_RDNNPBLSCK8gFw’,sig:’nsT5RkDmZW7gOHgex5uDGAIgpGRHe49Ca2cY5PJW1lo=’,w:’594px’,h:’412px’,items:’689048742′,caption: true ,tld:’co.uk’,is360: false })});

Olivier Ntcham, a similar age to Roberts, cost Celtic £4.5m to bring him from Manchester City last summer, and that’s about as big a spend as you will see at Celtic. Patrick’s price tag would surely exceed that.

Additionally, the recent signing of Lewis Morgan from St Mirren, a similar age and player to Roberts, would suggest the club are already preparing for life without the Man City loanee with Morgan set to join up with the Celtic squad in the summer ahead of next season.

Although  Celtic are financially stable the club’s scouting network appears to be more focused on discovering steals such as the £500,000 Moussa Dembele or £300,000 Lewis Morgan. It doesn’t feel like the club’s style to drop £10m on a player, which is chump change for Premier League clubs nowadays.

List page image © marqueauxreilles