Two years ago, the last opportunity for Patrick Roberts to find a real home in football came to an end when he signed an extension to his contract at Manchester City. That club did nothing for him in the time he was there. They loaned him out to various clubs but never seriously entertained the idea of developing him as a player for their first team squad.
But Roberts clung onto the dream, although it was perfectly obvious – as this website said at the time – that his dream of being one of their starters was over. Spells at Girona, Norwich and Middlesbrough have followed. He was not a regular at any of them.
Today, City have confirmed that they would consider offers for him. Is a return to Celtic Park on the cards?
You know, I doubt it although it would be a wildly popular choice with the fans. I just think that particular story has run its course.
When it went by the boards last time, that was probably it.
Earlier in the summer, another ex-Celtic player was given the opportunity to return to the club.
He was at Parkhead last season on loan and was a massive success, so much so that we had actually considered buying him outright. But he rejected the chance.
A loan deal had been done, with an option to buy.
But Fraser Forster said no.
He, like Roberts, gambled on his talent being recognised to the higher-ups.
And like Roberts, he was foolish to have done so.
Reports from down south suggest that the gamble has failed spectacularly; he will either have to backup Alex McCarthy or he will be third choice there and he’ll be sent back out on loan once more. That’s probably his preferred option.
But he’s no longer on the radar of Celtic. We have spent £6 million on a keeper and Forster’s chance went by the boards the second that deal was completed.
Some folk are going to feel sorry for the big man; in some ways I do too.
I understand that he felt he had to hang onto the dream.
He left Celtic Park in the first place because he wanted to play for England and knew their national coach wouldn’t take him seriously if he was doing it up here … but some people do cling to their ambitions long after it’s clear they will never be anything more than high hopes.
So yeah, I understand in a sense what big Fraser did … but man oh man, he turned down the chance to be one of the major players in the ten in a row campaign, and for a guy who gets this club, it was a huge decision and he made the wrong one.
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