Patrick Roberts singled out for praise by Barcelona manager Luis Enrique
The 2016-17 season is looking like it will be a definitive one for Manchester City. The blue half of Manchester, long overshadowed by their illustrious cross-town rivals United, have gained prominence over the last decade. The influx of oil money has seen City become one of the top spenders in Europe and they have attracted some of the biggest names in football, in recent times.
After a mixed spell under Manuel Pellegrini, the City hierarchy have turned to former Barcelona and Bayern Munich manager Pep Guardiola to take the team forward, and establish City on the European stage.
Guardiola has a host of star names and a war chest for transfers, at his disposal. However, the ‘home-grown’ quota rules applicable in the English Premier League as well as in the Champions’ League, means he shall have to look to his academy graduates to fill those positions.
Youngster Patrick Roberts is one player who fits the bill and has caught the eye of the manager in recent times. Current Barcelona manager Luis Enrique was also impressed by the youngster who starred in Celtic’s 3-1 loss to Barcelona in a pre-season friendly. Enrique waxed eloquent about Roberts and was quoted by Manchester Evening News as saying, “Patrick Roberts is a great player and he has a great future in the game.”
The Barcelona manager further added, “He has great quality and I expect he will be important for Celtic.”
Roberts, who is on loan at Celtic, played the first half against Barcelona, and was hugely impressive, completing a number of take-ons and dribbles. He is fast, with quick feet, clever movement and positioning ability, and all those qualities came to the fore against Barcelona as he gave the likes of Jeremy Mathieu a torrid time.
The 19-year-old Roberts is currently on an 18-month loan spell at Celtic and has scored 8 goals in 16 appearances for the Scottish giants. The pacy winger catches the eye with his dribbling abilities in the wide areas and is a nightmare for opposition fullbacks.
Roberts joined City from Fulham for a fee that could reach £12 million, subject to performance related bonuses. However, he was loaned out after just 3 appearances but his performances at Celtic could open the door for an early return to Manchester.