Celtic have emerged as a superlative Scottish force in the last decade and maintained their supremacy even after Rangers‘ return to Premiership football. The Hoops have conquered the league trophy seven times in a row and also grabbed a historic ‘double treble’ under Brendan Rodgers.
The former Liverpool gaffer, meanwhile, expects a tougher race to the title this term, following the Gers’ appointment of iconic former Liverpool and English midfielder Steven Gerrard as the new Ibrox boss, whom Rodgers managed during his eventful managerial realm at Anfield, before joining the Scottish giants.
Rangers are actively exploring the transfer market, having already tied down seven resources with a view to reconfigure the depleted squad, but Celtic, on contrary, are significantly calm so far, except making the loan move of PSG prodigy Odsonna Edouard permanent on a club-record deal.
They, however, recently wrapped up a permanent deal for custodian Scott Bain following an impressive loan stint from Dundee and are now handed a massive boost after Leicester City have now pulled out of Patrick Roberts deal. The Foxes were reportedly close to a deal for the English youth international who spent past two and a half year at Celtic Park on loan from Manchester City and City’s interest in Leicester winger Riyad Mahrez led to a speculation of Roberts’ involvement in a player plus cash deal.
But Leicester’s recent addition of James Maddison from Norwich City has handed Celtic a fresh hope of bringing him back at Parkhead, preferably on yet another loan spell, as they are not blessed to spend millions in the transfer market due to certain financial restrictions.
Roberts, 21, netted 18 times in his 82 appearances for the Hoops and terrorized opponents’ defensive line time and again with his mazy runs, tricky movements, cut insides and shooting traits banking on a great left foot down the right flank. Although Rodgers preferred James Forrest last season, who holds a long-term future at Celtic Park, the ex-Fulham attacker enjoyed a glorious spell the season before under the Northern Irishman.
A star-studded Manchester City squad already got the likes of Raheem Sterling and Bernardo Silva who operate in a similar role whereas the inclusion of Riyad Mahrez will send Roberts further down the pecking order at Etihad. Phil Foden, the 18-year-old academy sensation, is rated highly by Pep Guardiola, the City boss, who handed him enough senior appearances to grab a Premier League medal, therefore, making things even more difficult for Roberts to eventually earn a first-team status for the reigning English Champions.
The youngster, therefore, should consider a return to his familiar surroundings who will not only hand him opportunities to flourish his skillset with regular minutes but also mature him more as a player while chasing title glory. He has a long road ahead and a return to English football is only a matter of time if he excels and justifies the hype in next couple of seasons time.