PROFILE: Treble joys at Celtic and European youth glory with England prove potential of City loan signing
- Credit: PA Archive/PA Images
Making his Premier League debut at 17, being signed for £12million, winning a host of trophies with Celtic and scoring in the Champions League – new Norwich City loanee Patrick Roberts has already achieved a lot in his young career.
The 22-year-old joins the Canaries with a point to prove though, after seeing his promising career stall somewhat in Spain.
Hailed as a 'top talent' by former Liverpool and Celtic boss Brendan Rodgers, the youngster brings a great deal of attacking potential to Daniel Farke's title-winning squad.
Five years ago the tricky winger was starring as England won the Uefa European Under-17 Championship, alongside players who are now regulars in the Premier League including Liverpool defender Joe Gomez and Bournemouth duo Lewis Cook and Dominic Solanke - being named in the Team of the Tournament.
It all started at AFC Wimbledon for the Londoner though, before joining Fulham aged 13, eventually making his senior debut for the Cottagers during the second half of a 5-0 top-flight thrashing at his future club Manchester City in March 2014.
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At 17 years old, then Fulham boss Felix Magath was impressed, saying: "Pat is a very big talent and he will have a great career in front of him, so I think it is good for him to make the experience now in the Premier League, so he will get used to it."
He made one further appearance as a substitute during the latter stages of 2013-14 and was on the bench at Craven Cottage as Norwich were beaten 1-0 in Neil Adams' first game in charge, ahead of both clubs being relegated.
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Having helped the U18s finish runners-up in the FA Youth Cup that season, 20 first-team appearances followed during 2014-15, including an appearance at Carrow Road as Fulham were beaten 4-2 on the final day of the season.
Just two assists were registered but the potential on show was enough to persuade Manchester City to fork out for a reported £12m deal for the England youth international in July 2015.
It wouldn't be long before Roberts was on the move again though, after just three substitute appearances under Manuel Pellegrini, joining Celtic on an 18-month loan in January 2016 in search of regular game time.
Signed by Ronny Delia, six goals in 11 league games saw the youngster make an immediate impact, mostly playing on the right wing and winning the Scottish Premiership Player of the Month in April as he helped the Glasgow giants win the title.
With Rodgers taking over, that rapid progress continued with the Hoops and a total of 18 goals and 26 assists were racked up during 78 matches as the domestic treble was won in 2017 and 2018.
Speaking in May 2017 following a 5-0 win at Partick Thistle, the then Celtic boss predicted big things ahead for Roberts.
"He's a top, top talent," Rodgers told the Hoops' website. "You can see him benefiting from playing within a structure, and the idea of how we play will be very similar when he goes back to Man City.
"Over the course of this season, first and foremost, he has learned how to press the ball, to be in the right positions and be intense and aggressive when he doesn't have it. That element of his game has improved, and the rest is about positioning and where to be on the field, and that last third of the pitch, the incisive phase, is about his magic.
"He scored two goals tonight and created the penalty. He is a brilliant young player and there still a lot of education and training required for him. But, from having worked with big talents, such as Raheem Sterling and Phillipe Coutinho, he certainly has all of the qualities.
"It's just going to depend how many will be in front of him and how many Man City will be looking to bring in. He's a joy to work with and he's a great kid."
That first full season with Celtic had included Champions League football, facing Barcelona and Manchester City, scoring against his parent club in a 1-1 draw at the Etihad Stadium in the group stages.
His time in Glasgow was extended by another year but a thigh injury ruled out three months of a campaign which had started so well, scoring against Anderlecht in a Champions League group stage win.
A fresh start followed this season, joining Girona in the Spanish top flight, who were bought by the owners of Manchester City in 2017 as part of joint acquisition alongside Pere Guardiola, the brother and agent of the Premier League giants' manager, Pep.
Just six of his 21 appearances came from the start as the Catalonian club were relegated though, with a hamstring injury wiping out three months of the season this time.
All of which had left Roberts at something of a crossroads, with so much already achieved but his career at the top level yet to truly kick on - and his contract due to expire next summer.
However, he has also extended the deal with his parent club until 2022, so it's clear the reigning English champions think a lot of him.
To have a chance of returning to Guardiola's squad however he will first have to prove he can fit in with the team ethic and playing style which has brought such success for the Canaries.
Want another good omen for how good Roberts could be though? He was born on February 5, the same date as superstars Cristiano Ronaldo and Neymar. No pressure, Patrick...
- You can watch a video with sporting director Stuart Webber's thoughts on the signing above