The Celtic fans in the Transfer Tavern have been delighted by the performances of Patrick Roberts since he joined the club on loan from Manchester City in February 2016, and they are hoping to conclude a permanent deal for his services when his loan expires next month.
Patrick Roberts has been a revelation for the Hoops during his two year stint with the club so far, but his time in Scotland has been disrupted this season by a troublesome thigh injury. The 21-year-old winger has scored 18 goals and provided 26 assists from his 76 appearances for the club – an excellent return for a player of his experience.
It seems unlikely that he will feature in Pep Guardiola’s plans next season, but his success in Scottish football will certainly draw interest from Premier League clubs who are looking to bolster their attacking options in the summer window. With that to consider, Brendan Rodgers may need to turn his attention towards another hot prospect at Man City, namely Brahim Diaz.
The 18-year-old Spanish starlet has gained plenty of admirers amongst the City supporters this season following a handful of first-team appearances, and the flashes of brilliance he has displayed suggest he is a genuine talent waiting to be unearthed. Formerly of the Malaga youth academy, Diaz combines pace with a desire to take on his opposite number to devastating effect in the final-third, something which he and Roberts have in common.
It’s unlikely that Diaz will be able to break into City’s first team next season, so his opportunities are likely to be limited to a handful of appearances off the bench and the occasional start in the League Cup once again. Pep Guardiola won’t mind that too much as Diaz will still have the opportunity to train with the first-team and learn directly from some of the best players in the world, but after Roberts’ success at Celtic he may be inclined to send Diaz in the same direction.
Even if Celtic are successful in signing Roberts, whether permanently or on loan, Rodgers should consider making a move for a young talent who has the potential to light up the SPFL next season and provide the club with another valuable attacking weapon.
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