Ronny Deila says it will take Patrick Roberts time to adapt to life at Celtic, despite playing at Manchester City for six months.
The Hoops manager was speaking ahead of this weekend’s game against Ross County and was asked about the availability of the youngster after an impressive debut for the development team.
Roberts had a hand in three of the goals, including a brilliant fourth goal to cap off an impressive performance.
Twitter: Patrick Roberts’ goal for the Celtic development squad today: https://t.co/Rvh5mvvUl5 (@ReadCeltic)
Deila said however that he needs to regain match fitness and adapt, even though the youngster played in the same 4-2-3-1 formation at Manchester City.
As quoted by the Manchester Evening News, he said:
This is 18 months and he needs time to adapt to how we train and play. He also had some injuries before he arrived, so he still needs to get better fitness-wise.
We’ve spoken with him a lot and he has skills, which means he can do something at this level.
He was up and down in the Under-20 game, but there were times he was at a fantastic level. He scored a very good goal and has touch and vision. We have to use this first half of the year to get him adapted, but I’m not saying he can’t be involved. Hopefully he can kick on as quickly as possible
This move by Deila looks more like a stunt aimed at chief executive Peter Lawwell after the Norwegian clearly stated if any players are brought in on loan then there must be an option to buy.
Deila’s tone towards the idea of a loan move did change as the January transfer window progressed, possibly because he was resigned to accepting decisions are being made above his jurisdiction.