He was tipped to be Middlesbrough’s saviour as he arrived at the club in January.
Unfortunately for Patrick Roberts, things haven’t quite worked out that way.
The Manchester City man moved to the Riverside Stadium in the mid-season transfer window after struggling for first team opportunities with newly-promoted Norwich City in the first half of the season.
Roberts had a point to prove and so Middlesbrough seemed like the ideal platform to recreate the sort of form that he showed during his time with Scottish giants Celtic.
Unfortunately Roberts has been missing since late January with a hamstring injury – a period which has seen the Teessiders plummet into a genuine relegation battle.
Victory over Charlton Athletic at the weekend eased the pressure on Jonathan Woodgate’s side, but with it all to do, Middlesbrough fans will be delighted with the news that the 23-year-old has returned to full training this week.
Whether he’ll feature against Swansea City remains to be seen, but what can the supporters expected from the soon-to-be returning star?
This week’s FLW Spotlight focuses on Patrick Roberts’ Middlesbrough career so far.
He may have only played four games for Middlesbrough, but Patrick Roberts certainly made an impression during that time.
In a side that are limited in attacking threat, the Manchester City man was a real breath of fresh in his handful of appearances for the club as he showed the grace and bravery on the ball that Jonathan Woodgate’s side have so desperately craved.
Picking up the ball and drifting into pockets of space in the final third, Roberts is exactly the sort of intelligent player that Middlesbrough need in the remaining weeks of the season.
A lack of goals and assists during his four appearances is more of a reflection of the club’s winless run than anything, but he’ll certainly be hoping to put some scores on the doors in those categories.
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In his four appearances, Roberts averaged 6.67 dribbles per game which showed both his quality on the ball and his bravery to pick it up and move the Teessiders into the final third.
That’s also summed up by the 13 progressive runs that the inside forward has racked up during his four appearances for the club, while the six fouls suffered also show a different element to his game as he draws in fouls that can help his side set up for set pieces and ease the strain on the defensive players.
Jonathan Woodgate will be looking forward to getting Patrick Roberts back, and if he can build on what he started to show in January then he could be a real asset in the coming weeks.