Former Celtic winger Patrick Roberts is free to leave loan club Middlesbrough in January, Neil Warnock has confirmed.

Roberts has had a difficult season in the English Championship, making just three starts as Boro approach the second half of the season.

Warnock knows that the winger wants to play regular football and won’t stand in his way.

As quoted by The Scottish Sun, he said: “I’ve had a chat with Patrick, and he’s aware of the situation. I think the lad wants to play.

“I don’t want him to leave, but I’ve said to him that if he wants to, or if he thinks he can improve his chances of playing by going somewhere different, then I wouldn’t stand in his way.

“He’s aware of that. Unless it’s a good club, he might as well stay here and try to fight for his place, really.”

Celtic need a winger

I’m not saying Celtic should be rushing to bring Roberts back to Glasgow.

However, we do need a winger and the Man City attacker could do a job for us heading towards May. The option should be explored.

Roberts has never been happier or more productive in his career than at Celtic. He genuinely enjoyed his time in Scotland and was often the scourge of opposition defences.

He scored 18 goals and assisted 26 times in his 78 appearances for the Bhoys.

Now 23, it’s undeniable he’s struggled since his exit. That could put Celtic off.

Hearts v Celtic - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Former Celtic winger Patrick Roberts / (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Some may scoff at the idea of a romantic return, but it could genuinely be a fine marriage for both parties. Why not give it another shot?

He may not be lighting fires at the moment, but his natural talent is undoubted and his presence would at least provide competition for James Forrest and Mohamed Elyounoussi.

Elsewhere, we’ve identified another winger who could be a massive hit at Celtic in January.

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