Celtic fans took Roberts to their hearts during his loan spells

Photo by Alex Dodd – CameraSport via Getty Images

Over the course of two loan spells in Glasgow, Paddy Roberts became something of a fans’ favourite at Celtic.

Signed from Fulham by Manchester City for £12m in the summer of 2015, Ronny Deila acquired him on an 18-month loan in January 2016.

The winger quickly won over supporters with his flair and enthusiasm, and played a key role in Brendan Rodgers’ 2016/17 ‘Invincibles’ side.

A record of 11 goals in 47 games across the season had fans desperate for the club to secure a second loan move, and the clubs duly agreed another one-year deal for the 2017/18 season.

Why you'd be foolish to write Celtic off next season

Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

That campaign was marred by injury, however, and his impact was more muted with just 19 appearances.

After returning to his parent club in the summer of 2018, Roberts had loan spells at La Liga side Girona and Norwich City, before arriving at Middlesbrough in January 2020.

The 23-year-old has found chances hard to come by at the Riverside Stadium, and with the January transfer window looming manager Neil Warnock has spoken about the youngster’s future.

As quoted by Record Sport, Warnock said: “I’ve got to have a talk (with Roberts). There’s two or three lads that have not really had an opportunity, and everybody wants to play.

“They all want to be involved, and I have to manage that as I see fit.

“I’ve got to speak to the players and see how they feel, but first and foremost, I’ve learned my lesson over the years, I’ve got to look after the club.

Photo by Robbie Jay Barratt – AMA/Getty Images

“I can’t be swayed just because an agent rings me up or a dad of one of the players says, ‘He’s got to leave or go out on loan’ – I can’t be working on that.

“I’ve got to look after the club first at this moment in time because it’s a difficult period.”

Roberts remains a popular figure among Celtic fans, whose side take on Hearts in Sunday’s Scottish Cup Final.

In other news, Confirmed Celtic lineup tonight: Abada starts, Christie included