Brendan Rodgers: I would love Celtic to sign this 15-goal attacker
By Danny Wright
Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has revealed that he would love to sign Patrick Roberts on a permanent deal.
The attacker, who has scored 9 goals this season, and 15 in total for Celtic since his loan began in February last year, is set to return to Manchester City in the summer.
However the 20-year-old has recently shown his affection towards the Glasgow club by ruling himself out of the England squad for the upcoming Under-20 World Cup in order to take part in the Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen later this month.
The Hoops can secure a domestic treble if they can beat Derek McInnes’ side, who are also their next opponents in the league.
Roberts bagged a brace as he helped Celtic to win 4-1 against St. Johnstone on Saturday and Rodgers has admitted that it was a huge decision for the attacker to make.
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“It’s great for us,” said the Bhoys manager on Saturday, as quoted by the club’s official Twitter page.
“It’s a difficult one for the player as he loves it here and not many players get to go to a World Cup.”
“It tells you everything about his enjoyment here and how we wants to be part of hopefully creating some history here.
“We would love to have him here permanently but have to respect he’s a Man City player.”
???? BR on signing @patrick7roberts permanently: "We would love to have him here permanently but have to respect he's a Man City player."
— Celtic Football Club (@celticfc) May 6, 2017
Roberts endured a slow start to Saturday’s game against the Saints, but came bursting out of the blocks following the half-time break to snatch his eighth and ninth goal of the campaign in all competitions.
The winger will return to parent club Manchester City after the Cup final following an 18-month loan stay in Glasgow which has seen him win a multitude of silverware.
He’s scored 15 goals for the Hoops in 56 appearances since joining last winter and has already won the Scottish Premiership twice and the Scottish League Cup.
Football Insider Verdict
If Celtic can secure a permanent deal to sign Roberts then it would be a huge way to show how far they have come in the last few years. The English winger is a player that wouldn’t look out of place in a majority of teams in the Premier League and could go on to be a big star in Rodgers’ team for years to come. However Man City are likely to think that Roberts is a player worth keeping hold of due to his impressive displays over the last year-and-a-half. There’s no way that he’d be able to hold a first-team place though and celtic fans could hope that, at worst, another loan move – at a club where he can get Champions League experience – is something that Man City will consider.