CONFIRMED: Roberts joins Middlesbrough as City loan spell cut short
- Credit: Paul Chesterton/Focus Images Ltd
Patrick Roberts loan spell with Norwich City is over, with the winger joining Championship side Middlesbrough until the end of the season.
City have reached a mutual agreement with Roberts and Manchester City to cut short an intended season-long loan switch. He will now link up with Jonathan Woodgate's side for the remainder of the season, with his quest for regular game time seeing him drop into the Championship.
The 22-year-old joined the Canaries in the summer as his parent club hoped to expose him to the rigours of Premier League football following a loan spell with Spanish side Girona last season. He went onto feature 21 times in La Liga as Girona suffered relegation from the top-flight.
Roberts has barely featured for City this season, with his last outing coming as a substitute in City's 5-1 hammering to Aston Villa in October.
He's established a growing reputation after a successful loan stint with Celtic, where he featured heavily in his first season to win the Scottish Premiership for then boss Brendan Rodgers' men. He also scored against his parent club in the Champions League group stages.
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Roberts spell in Norfolk hasn't been a successful one, despite their being positive signs during pre-season as the England U20 international impressed during a friendly against Luton Town.
Boro sit 16th in the Championship table but an impressive festive period has seen Woodgate stabilise his side following a poor opening to the season. Roberts will add to their offensive talent and the winger will be hoping to be a prominent part of the plans on Teeside.
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Injury problems at the Riverside Stadium could propel Roberts into the first-team picture immediately as Boro look to continue their upward trajectory.
Speaking following City's New Year's Day stalemate with Crystal Palace, the Canaries boss Daniel Farke said: "We just want players who are greedy to work on this miracle. So it is possible players will leave us.
"There is no surprise Patrick is not happy with the lack of minutes but that is also due to the unbelievably good shape of Emi Buendia, another really good performance (against Palace), Todd Cantwell, another good goal and even to leave Onel Hernandez out with his pace is tough."
Boro boss Woodgate spoke of his elation at being able to attract a player of Roberts calibre and bring him to the club.
"It's great Patrick has signed up for the club. He's an exciting player, he wants to play games, and he has the bit between his teeth," Woodgate told Boro's official channels.
"He fits the mould of what we're looking at. He's young and hungry, and wants to do well. I'm absolutely delighted to have a player of Patrick's calibre at this football club."
Speaking to the Boro website after completing his move, Roberts said: "I've had a tough couple of months previously, so I'm glad to be here and to get started on Sunday will be good.
"I've struggled during the last couple of months, so just to get some minutes in and some games [will be good]. I'm more than delighted and I'm happy to get going.
"Speaking to the manager, the coaching staff and players, they've been on the back of a few good wins right now so there's good momentum.
"I think it fits me and I want to be winning games and playing football. With the players around me, I'm sure we can keep doing that."