End of Patrick Roberts? Celtic eyeing first summer signing as ace’s replacement

Brendan Rodgers

Celtic manager, Brendan Rodgers has started making plans for the future with his current Celtic squad. The manager recently talked about the future of Manchester City loanee, Patrick Roberts and his possible replacement in their squad when he returns to the Etihad stadium at the end of the season.

Rodgers have identified his own player as a good replacement but currently plays for Aberdeen on loan. Rodgers have high hopes for Ryan Christie at Parkhead and have dashed any hope Aberdeen might be nursing to sign him on a permanent basis.

The midfielder has been out at Aberdeen since the start of last year will be returning to the club at the end of the season as he has made a name while playing for the Pittodrie side and they would like to keep him there. With Rodgers now ending any hope by the Dons to keep him makes things easily defined and understood by both sides.

“The plan was always for Ryan to come back,” Rodgers told the Scotsman. “I looked at it last summer after he’d spent six months on loan to Aberdeen, working with Derek at a fantastic club, under pressure, and asked: ‘Is it better him to play 40-plus games for them or maybe play between five and ten for me?’

“We had a call-back (clause) in January if we’d wanted him but I always felt a year playing out, working on his game and his physical strength, on preparing week-in and week-out for games would benefit him and benefit Celtic. I believe that he’s made the most of his opportunity with them.”

When he eventually returns to Celtic at the end of the season and Roberts is back at Manchester City, he will not be walking into the first team as he will have to fight for his place in the team.

The likes of James Forrest and Charly Musonda still have a place in the team which he will have to contend with. But the fact that the manager is willing to trust him shows he might have a fair share of game time at the club.