Man City to pounce for Fulham forward Patrick Roberts?
Manchester City (14/1 with Coral to win the 2015/16 Champions League) could make a move for Championship club Fulham’s highly-rated young forward Patrick Roberts, who has earned rave reviews for the England Under-19s.
Roberts, still only 18, has hit the headlines before, with Chelsea, Liverpool and Manchester United all also said to have been previously tracking the starlet, who can be deployed as either a right winger or support striker.
Rumours of City’s interest have emerged alongside reports suggesting Roberts has refused to sign a new long-term deal offered by the Cottagers. However, the youngster’s apparent reluctance may have more to do with Fulham’s lacklustre season and 17th place Championship finish, while Roberts himself made just two starts in 17 league outings for the London club.
Fittingly, Roberts, who joined the Cottagers’ youth ranks from Wimbledon, made his Fulham and Premier League debut under former boss Felix Magath in 2013/14 against Man City, as a substitute in his side’s 5-0 thrashing.
Though Roberts has struggled to get to grips with the Championship, providing just two assists, the skill and grace of the starlet, who reminds a little of Joe Cole, is evident and could see a transfer tussle should Fulham decide to cash-in this summer.
Considering the Cottagers’ struggles, coach Kit Symons has understandably plumped for more experienced and robust players to ensure their second-tier survival, which is no reflection on talented wingman Roberts, but the teenage prodigy may need to move on to keep developing.
A switch to City for game time may not be advisable, as fellow English hopes Jack Rodwell and Scott Sinclair have both found in recent seasons, but the Citizens do boast an impressive youth set-up, and will know they need to hone homegrown talent in the coming years.
With just one year left on his current Cottagers contract, Roberts’ potential means he is valued at around £10m, which is a significant sum, despite his potential.
Renowned for his speed, dribbling and elegance on the ball, City (5/2 to win the Premier League) could well be on the verge of signing one of England’s most exciting talents from a new generation of technically gifted players, so it will be truly intriguing to track how this transfer story develops.
Watch Roberts’ highlights here: