Patrick Roberts has become a serial loan star for Manchester City and today joined Norwich City on a season long loan.
Just yesterday Man City Square were writing that Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts was entering the last 12 months of his playing contract. We also pointed to the interest from Norwich in the player but suggested the contract expiry date could prove to be a sticking point. Of course that all now seems remarkably prescient!
Roberts is still only 22 years of age but joined Manchester City from Fulham back on 19 July 2015 as an exciting young player, for a fee rumoured to be around £6 million. At the time the fee paid seemed somewhat speculative – more in the hope he could be developed into a top professional than a belief he would be.
In January 2016 Roberts joined Celtic on loan, in the hope he would develop further under Brendan Rodgers. After a successful period on loan where he played 13 times, scoring 6 goals and making 2 assists he returned to Manchester City for pre season training.
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Guardiola made clear he wanted Roberts to stay with the first team squad and fight for his place but Roberts seemed to push for a return to Celtic. Whether this in effect marked his card at City, is not clear but this second period at Celtic was ultimately interrupted by injury. Despite this, during 2016/17 he still played 47 times and scored 11 goals making 19 assists. In 2017/18 he made 18 appearances, scoring 1 goal and achieving 5 assists.
City loaned out Roberts again the following Summer and there was a lot of talk about him going to Scotland again and back to Celtic. Thankfully, this never transpired and instead he went to play in La Liga with Girona. Another difficult and erratic season followed where again injury disrupted his appearances. His statistics are played 21, goals 0 and assists 1.
With the clock ticking down on his contract it is a surprise he has not made a permanent move. Instead today Manchester City have announced Roberts has signed a 2 year contract extension – taking him up to 30 June 2022. He has also immediately gone to Norwich City for a season long loan move.
Norwich are newly promoted to the Premier League so this will afford Roberts a real opportunity to showcase his skills in the best league in the world. Norwich are well thought of at Manchester City because of the way Angus Gunn developed there a couple of seasons ago. So this move seems an ideal chance for Roberts to resurrect his early promise. We wish him all the best!