CELTIC’S pursuit of Patrick Roberts this summer has tapped into my inner most deeply felt emotions that have not seen the light of day in a long time.
Depending on what mood you catch me in when I hear the midfielder is on the way you’ll either get hearty derision or the type of enthusiasm you’d more likely see from a child on Christmas Eve.
Yesterday morning he was off to France but by the evening, thanks to Celtic’s assistant manager and Nice’s spending spree he was heading back to Celtic; it’s a rollercoaster ride I don’t much enjoy riding if I’m completely honest.
Obviously, the latter gives way to hope that we will sign this young lad and have him raring to go for another season or two.
However, while I would do cartwheels all the way down London Road if the player did sign up for ten-in-a-row, I feel we’re in real danger of putting too much on the lad’s shoulders.
Such is the fervor around the players return I think many are building Paddy up to be a modern day messiah. A player, that if we sign will deliver us an unprecedented amount of success under the tutelage of Brendan Rodgers.
In reality, Paddy is a player who can come in and make a real difference – someone who can unlock defences when we’re having a bad day, someone who can get bums off seats. He’s the kind of player Celtic fans love, and that’s why I can’t be too critical of the fans who are treating his transfer as the be all and end all.
So we sit here waiting, and to harken back to the Christmas analogy – Patrick is the Christmas present you overshot the mark with, something you asked for knowing full well it was a bit too much and now your sitting waiting patiently for Christmas day to decide if you hate your Mum and Dad or not.
What’s kept hope alive is not the constant rumours about what the player has allegedly said or wants. Hope comes from the manager and his backroom team, who refuse to rule out Roberts as a transfer target every time they’re asked.
There is a lot in modern day football to get passed before you can sign a player, from fee’s to wage negotiations which come down to the tiniest of details and of course the medicals and time constraints in place to get things done.
If Manchester City does give Celtic the green light, then you hope we’ll be prepared to act fast to secure Paddy’s signature.
If we make it to the Champions League group stages and Virgil van Dijk moves on for a large summer transfer, then there would be no real excuse the board could give us for not pursuing the player.
Christmas day is coming soon; I hope my parents love me.