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Roberts hype is gripping Celtic

By Ronnie Esplin

Published 20/02/2016

Causing a stir: Patrick Roberts, who is on loan at Celtic from Man City, is exciting fans despite not yet making an appearance
Causing a stir: Patrick Roberts, who is on loan at Celtic from Man City, is exciting fans despite not yet making an appearance

Stuart Armstrong claims Patrick Roberts is living up to the hype as the clamour from Celtic fans to see the 19-year-old in action intensifies.

The England youth player has shone in a couple of development league games for the Hoops since signing an 18-month loan deal from Manchester City and assistant manager John Collins claimed he was getting closer to a first-team debut ahead of the visit of Inverness in the Ladbrokes Premiership today,

Asked about Roberts, who joined City from Fulham for a fee of around £12million, Armstrong said: "Yeah, I think he's very talented and you see that in training.

"I've not seen the development games but I've been hearing very good things.

"He's scored a few goals as well so I think all the hype is deserved."

Roberts adds competition to an already large Hoops squad which will be bolstered further next season by the addition of Kristoffer Ajer.

The 17-year-old will join the Parkhead club from IK Start on a four-year deal in the summer following a trial in January.

Armstrong, though, accepts that having to fight for your place comes with the territory at a big club like Celtic.

The former Dundee United midfielder said: "It's part and parcel here at Celtic, there's a lot of competition which gives it a competitive edge.

"He (Ajer) seemed like a nice guy when he was here before so I think he is a good addition.

"It's the reality of football there's competition everywhere and you just need to accept it. There's a lot of players here fighting for the starting XI and getting in the squad. There's a lot of strength and depth.

"It's a team and everyone wants the team to do well. Of course in training everyone is competing for a spot in the team and to get as close to that is possible."

Inverness travel on the back of a morale-boosting home win over Aberdeen on Monday night, which dented the title hopes of the second-placed Dons.

"I saw clips of the Aberdeen game," Armstrong said.

"It's good they held on to Greg Tansey as I think he's a very good player.

"But they are a good footballing team and it's always difficult. To get the three points you've got to earn it."

Belfast Telegraph

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