Norwich City transfer rumours: Roberts to end loan early and join Championship club
PUBLISHED: 20:54 31 December 2019 | UPDATED: 20:55 31 December 2019
Patrick Roberts' unhappy loan spell with Norwich City is set to come to an early end, with a Championship deal reportedly already lined up by parent club Manchester City.
Football Insider claim to have been told that the winger will be recalled and go straight back out on loan for the rest of the season, to help Middlesbrough's play-off chase.
The former Celtic loan star was due to stay with the Canaries for the whole season but has not been able to force his way into Daniel Farke's plans, despite featuring prominently during pre-season and being given the squad number seven.
The 22-year-old Fulham academy product has made just four appearances this season, with all three of his Premier League outings being briefly as a substitute - the last of which was a 5-1 home defeat to Aston Villa in October.
His only start was the shock 1-0 loss away to League Two side Crawley Town in the second round of the League Cup, hitting the post as City's shadow squad slumped to an embarrassing loss.
Boro are currently 16th in the Championship and being coached by former Real Madrid and Leeds defender Jonathan Woodgate, nine points adrift of the top six.
VERDICT: If Roberts does leave it will come as little surprise to Canaries supporters but the reason for his lack of involvement has remained something of a mystery, with Farke suggesting the loanee had appeared tired after pre-season, following a largely unsuccessful stint in Spain with Girona last season.
All looked to be going well during pre-season however, when the youngster scored a fine goal and set up three others during a 5-1 win friendly win at Championship club Luton, but seemingly failed to persuade Farke he could be relied upon in the top flight.
He has been named on the bench for just two of the last 12 matches, scoring for the under-23s in a 4-2 home loss to West Brom in October, and it looks best for the player to drop down a level to try and get back into regular action.
His exit would also free up a loan slot in City's squad which could be filled during the January transfer window, with two loans from other Premier League clubs allowed from a total of four overall, with goalkeeper Ralf Fahrmann and midfielder Ibrahim Amadou already on loan from Schalke and Sevilla respectively.