Roberts has since left Celtic and is on loan from Manchester City with Spanish side Girona.

Nir Bitton has told Celtic’s official website that former Hoops winger Patrick Roberts was key to helping him overcome his long-term knee injury, hilariously describing him as his “second wife.”

Bitton, 27, has been out of action since February after suffering the knee injury, which required surgery to correct. Now in November, Bitton is nearing a full recovery and could return before the Christmas break.

The Israel international, who has clocked up a huge 171 appearances for Celtic since joining the club in 2013 from FC Ashdod, has helped Celtic win five Scottish Premiership titles.

The midfielder – who has also played in defence prior to his injury – spoke of how former loanee Roberts helped him through the injury, with the winger being his neighbour during his loan spell at Celtic.

“To be honest, last year, the first two or three months after surgery were really tough for me,” Bitton said.

“I couldn’t really walk or drive at that point, but thankfully I had a good neighbour in Patrick Roberts, so he was like a second wife to me! He helped me a lot and I appreciated that.”

Roberts clocked up 78 appearances for Celtic after first joining the club in January 2016 on an 18-month loan deal from City. He then re-signed for another year in the summer of 2017, helping Celtic win three titles.

Celtic are next in action on Saturday as they look to rebuild some momentum after the international break. They travel to Hamilton for a lunchtime kick-off, with the chance to push clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership table.

Roberts’ future in Girona, meanwhile, remains in doubt as he struggles for game time. The Daily Record claims City value the England youth international at £15million.

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