Many sources recently have claimed that both Manchester United and Manchester City have been sniffing around our wonder kid Patrick Roberts. Our youth academy has started to yield results from the considerable investment put in with the likes of Woodrow and Bettinelli, but Roberts is absolutely our most talked about prospect. The tricky winger has been on the England Youth scene for a while now but he hasn’t yet had a decent chance on the Fulham first team. Often the Fulham fans would complain about this but to be honest I can understand Kit Symons’ logic. At just 18 Roberts isn’t fully grown and still has a lot of maturing to do. Yes, he is exciting to watch and probably could have given the fans something to cheer about, but I think that last season was too early for him to be unleashed on to the Championship stage.
However, this season coming he needs to be given his chance. If we hold on to him in the summer then he needs to be a regular fixture in the side and then we, and the rest of the world, can see what he can really do. For his own development I think going to the likes of City, who mainly want him right now to boost their amount of home grown players, would be detrimental. Despite all the talk about him he isn’t proven yet and will need his chance to do this while avoiding having the pressure of being at a top 4 Premier League club. That sort of environment can destroy any player, never mind one so young. It has been reported that City have already had a £10million offer rejected by Fulham which is encouraging, as sometimes Fulham have let players go too easily. If I could give advice to Roberts right now I would say to be flattered by the interest but to continue his football education at Fulham and to not rush into signing with a big name where sometimes players get lost. Fulham should let him play this year and, if he continues to show a massive amount of potential, the big clubs will keep on looking at him. They aren’t going to lose interest and next year, or a few years down the line, he will get to make his move.
For now, let’s hope Roberts is still in a Fulham shirt come the start of the season and that he gets the chance to brighten up our performances come August.
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