Patrick Roberts was linked with a return to Celtic during the summer transfer window, but after weeks of speculation he eventually completed a switch to Girona in La Liga, a path which is followed by many budding Manchester City players.
Girona, part of the City Football Group, have welcomed plenty of Man City players to the club in recent years. Very few have made the switch to La Liga and enhanced their reputation, Pablo Maffeo aside, but Roberts could be the latest exception to the rule this season.
There has been a feeling lurking around the Etihad Stadium in regard to Roberts’ development which depicted him as a player who does not possess the right level of determination to succeed in the Premier League.
His decision to embark on such a lengthy stint at Celtic Park, rather than challenging himself in a more competitive division, was cited as a reason to legitimise that opinion.
That’s exactly what he is doing this season and, according to Spanish media outlet Mundo Deportivo (via M.E.N), he is starting to thrive in his new environment.
According to the report, Roberts has been impressive in his last three appearances for Girona, with his most recent performance during a 3-1 away win over Espanyol earning esteemed praise from Mundo Deportivo, who labelled him as “one of the sensations of the season in Girona.”
Roberts will be delighted that he is earning credit in the media for his performances as he begins to find his feet, and he certainly owes a debt to Brendan Rodgers for his development.
Regardless of conflicting opinions regarding Roberts’ decision to join Celtic, there is no doubt that he was training under a coach who was perfect for developing his style of play.
Rodgers is a notorious admirer of technical quality and a keen exponent of possession-based football, and the principles he would have taught Roberts on the training ground are now bearing fruit in La Liga, a division in which the value of technical quality is deeply embedded in its roots.
Roberts endured a difficult start to life at Girona, playing just 67 minutes of football in their first 9 league fixtures, but his transformation in recent weeks suggests that he is over the initial adjustment period and beginning to showcase his talent.
The Celtic supporters may feel a longing for Roberts, but Rodgers will simply be delighted to see that the prodigy is beginning to realise the potential which he showcased so consistently during his time at Celtic Park.
Celtic fans – thoughts? Let us know below!
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