CONFIRMED: Manchester City starlet Roberts joins Canaries on loan
JASON DAWSON ©Jason Dawson
Norwich City have confirmed their first new signing of the summer, with a season-long loan switch for Manchester City talent Patrick Roberts sealed.
News of the imminent loan signing had leaked on Wednesday, with national newspapers The Sun and The Telegraph both reporting the 22-year-old would be joining the Premier League new boys.
Norwich have now confirmed the deal for the winger, who previously spent two-and-a-half seasons at Celtic, winning three Scottish Premiership titles and helping the Glasgow giants complete domestic trebles in 2017 and 2018 under Brendan Rodgers.
After a less successful spell on loan in the Spanish top flight this season with Girona, a partner club of Manchester City, the Fulham academy product will join Daniel Farke's squad for 2019-20.
Signed as an 18-year-old for around £12million in 2015, Roberts has only made three senior appearances for his parent club and was due to be out of contract at the end of next season.
However, he has also signed a two-year extension until 2022 with the reigning English champions, ahead of officially starting his loan on July 1.
He scored a total of 18 goals and set up another 26 from 78 games during his lengthy loan at Celtic but the majority of his 21 appearances for Girona this season were as a substitute, as the Spanish side slipped to relegation from the Primera Division.
City's new signing said: "It's great to have the deal done. I've known about the interest for a while.
"I've spoken to the manager and sporting director Stuart Webber and it was clear in my mind that I wanted to come here this season.
"I had a few other offers, the same as last season. But speaking to Stuart, he said he's been watching me for a while and he likes the way I play.
"The manager was very enthusiastic when he spoke to me. He really enjoys the way I play and that's a big boost of confidence for me.
"It's good to have someone in your corner to give you the belief and opportunity to play and in return I'll give 100 percent to Norwich and everyone at the club to repay that belief."
The Londoner can play on either flank or centrally behind a lead striker, with plenty of skill and pace in his armoury.
He has been capped 48 times between U16 and U20 level by England and helped win the Uefa European U17 Championship in 2014, when he was named in the Team of the Tournament.
It is believed the success of Angus Gunn's loan at Norwich during 2017-18 has helped persuade the Premier League champions to choose the Canaries for the next stage of Roberts' development, with the England U21 keeper having gone on to earn a £15m switch to Southampton.
Speaking to City's official website, head coach Farke added: "I'm very pleased with this signing. We made it clear that we need players with quality and good character.
"They both relate to Patrick. We have been following him for a couple of seasons. He was outstanding at Celtic but we had no chance to sign him then.
"Last season in Spain was a good experience for him. He is very skilful and down-to-earth, humble and modest.
"He is desperate to wear the yellow and green shirt and he has already proved he can play at a high level. He is a perfect fit for us."
The signing is the first of the summer transfer window for Norwich, with striker Carlton Morris joining Rotherham on loan the only other business completed so far.
Timm Klose and Marco Stiepermann have signed new contract though, while Ivo Pinto, Steven Naismith, Matt Jarvis and Yanic Wildschut have all been released as their deals came to a conclusion.
A statement on the Manchester City website about the move concluded: "Everyone at Manchester City would like to take the opportunity to wish Patrick all the best on his move to Norwich and we look forward to seeing his development continue at close quarters."
- You can watch a video with sporting director Stuart Webber's thoughts on the signing above