This article is part of Football League World’s ‘The Verdict‘ series, which provides personal opinions from the FLW writers regarding the latest breaking news, teams, players, managers, potential signings and more…
Sunderland are on the verge of completing a deal for Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts, as per a report from Football Insider.
The 24-year-old is currently on loan with French clubs Troyes, but it appears that he wants a move back to England during the January transfer window.
Roberts’ game time has been severely restricted with the Ligue 1 outfit this season, with a cancellation of his temporary spell perhaps suing all involved.
Quiz: Can you name which club Sunderland signed these 20 strikers from?
Embarking on two loan spell in the Championship last season, Roberts found it difficult to secure regular minutes at both Middlesbrough and Derby County.
Three of our writers here at FLW have shared their thoughts regarding this potential deal…
I would say so, yes. Sunderland are more in need of a central striker to provide some competition for Ross Stewart particularly following Nathan Broadhead’s injury, but Roberts would be a solid addition nonetheless.
Lee Johnson has been able to steer the likes of Alex Pritchard and Aiden McGeady back on upward trajectories in recent years, therefore even though he would not be first choice straight away, Johnson could have a similar effect on Roberts. The prolific England youth international has shown his quality in flashes in recent years and certainly has a future in the EFL if he can find the right club.
Sunderland have been very smart with their transfer business in the last few windows and the addition of Roberts would represent a continuation of exactly that.
This could be an outstanding bit of business.
Having seen Roberts play for Celtic a few years ago, he was excellent and it’s a mystery as to why his career has stalled so much since then. At his best he is an intelligent player, capable of beating his opponent and has an eye for a killer pass in the final third.
Clearly, the past few years have to be a concern but I still think Roberts will be far too good for League One and playing in a side that dominate and attack every week, like Sunderland do, is going to be ideal for him. It will allow him to get back to his best and he could thrive at the Stadium of Light.
This will be a major coup for Lee Johnson and if he stays fit the former Fulham man could be the one to get the Black Cats over the line in their quest for promotion.
This could prove to be a fantastic signing but it doesn’t come without a bit of risk.
Patrick Roberts has shown previously that he’s a really exciting attacking talent but the 24-year-old has struggled in recent years.
Derby will have hoped for more from him last term while he’s played less than 100 minutes on loan at French club Troyes.
A step down to League One could be just the thing to revitalise him and he could make a strong addition to Lee Johnson’s squad as they push for promotion.
Who knows, if things work out, the Black Cats may have found their long-term replacement for Aiden McGeady.
It’s a risk but it’s one that could really pay off, both this season and moving forward.