Patrick Roberts has returned to Celtic FC on loan this season after a very successful spell last year. Brendan Rodgers opened up recently about his attempt to complete a permanent deal for the young Manchester City winger:
"We would have broken our transfer record for Patrick. We wanted to find the deal that would get him back here. But he's a Manchester City player.”
"We could have offered them £30m and they would have said no. They didn’t want to sell. So the best option was to get him back on loan."
£30 million would be a transfer record for Celtic as Rodgers said. That’s quite a number for a player seemingly not ready for a regular first team spot with City. Rodgers and Celtic are clearly high on the youngster’s potential, but by refusing to sell that means City are aware of Patrick’s ceiling as well.
Roberts also spoke with the media echoing the sentiment that clearly City see something in the youngster:
"Celtic did try to get the permanent move but, in fairness to City, they wanted to keep me and said that couldn't happen.
"It gives me a bit of hope obviously [City] still think I have a long-term future which is good for me. They will let me express myself up here and enjoy my season.
"The bigger picture for me is to be the best player I can be and play in the best league in the world. For me, it is just to improve every day and get better working with the manager here.”
It would appear Roberts has the right attitude and seems to be enjoying himself at Celtic. He’ll play Champions League football again this season but the Scottish Premier League isn't the most competitive league in the world.
Hopefully Roberts can continue to grow and perhaps next summer might challenge for a spot in the City first team.