Celtic manager Brendan Rodgers has heaped praise on Patrick Roberts ahead of Tuesday’s Champions League game against Manchester City.
Roberts, 19, joined Celtic from City in January on an 18-month loan deal and quickly became a fans' favourite thanks to his ability to beat players in the final third.
He is expected to start against his parent club in the final Group C game at the Etihad Stadium – and Rodgers, who oversaw Raheem Sterling’s development when in charge at Liverpool, has been nothing but impressed with what he’s seen from Roberts.
“He’s been brilliant,” Rodgers said. “I didn’t see a lot of Patrick before he came to Celtic but obviously I was aware of him. But he’s a big talent.
“First of all, it's big applause to him as a young player - he could easily have sat in at Manchester City and hoped for some game time.
“But after six months he realised he needed to play games and gain the experience. If you come out of Manchester City you want to test and measure a young player, you want to put them in an environment where they’re under pressure. Him coming to Celtic he was always going to get that — a club that looks to win every game.”
Rodgers believes Roberts has a big future at City and says his stint at Celtic Park will have improved his tactical awareness and understanding of the game.
He expects him to return to Manchester in the summer and continue his development under the guidance of Pep Guardiola.
“He’s been a joy to work with and he’s a fantastic talent,” he said. “He’ll come back in the summer and I’m sure Pep and his staff will look at him and hopefully they’ll see he’s a better idea of the game tactically.”