If it was ever going to happen, folks, it’s going to happen now.
Today, Manchester City have pretty much agreed to let Patrick Roberts leave on a free transfer.
His dream of playing for their first team is over.
He can either move somewhere where he’s just another player or he can come home to Celtic, if Celtic wants him.
The teams who are allegedly interested are a Who’s Who of who cares.
Championship sides. They can’t offer him the highs that we can. They can offer him more money, but he needs a big stage on which to perform. He needs a place where he’s truly loved.
Celtic could afford this. Give him the number seven back and the fans will be overjoyed. He’s more than just a good option. If someone said to you “Roberts as a replacement for Christie” you’d say that in the long term that might be just what we need.
The guy has struggled really badly to realise his potential.
But it’s there and it’s real and we know that it is. And to read a lot of the coverage of him in recent years you’d think that his best years were behind him; Patrick Roberts is still only 24.
This is a bankable asset. This is a player who can still be a great.
This is a footballer who knows our club, who knows our fan-base, a player who’s a genuine entertainer and who would fit neatly into what Ange is trying to do here.
This is just the kind of player he’d love a chance to develop to his potential.
The chances of this deal are maybe in the low 30’s.
Would Celtic make a move for him even now?
My question is, why wouldn’t we?
Roberts needs the new start; he needs to be somewhere he can grow as a footballer. Celtic needs first team squad players capable of changing the direction of a game. We are supposedly still looking at the wide areas.
Little chance does not mean no chance.
The deadline is looming.
If there is a deal to be done we should be in there trying for it.
No player would benefit more from what this Celtic boss is trying to do and nobody would have to sell it to the fans.
This is the final window, the final chance for it to happen.
Roberts will sign for someone here and either go on to the greatness he’s capable of or vanish into the obscurity some think he is doomed to.
In the first scenario we’d never get near him again.
In the second scenario we wouldn’t want to.
As I said at the start, if it’s ever going to happen it’s going to happen now.
This is the moment for Roberts and his people to decide, and Celtic to step up or step back.