At the age of 24, Patrick Roberts is a player that should have achieved a lot more in the game up to this point.
Once tipped for great things after being snapped up as a 13-year-old from AFC Wimbledon’s academy by Fulham, the skillful winger quickly rose through the ranks at Craven Cottage before breaking into the first team.
It was arguably a case of being gifted too much, too soon however as he was snapped up by big-spending Manchester City as part of a lucrative transfer back in the summer of 2015.
Some six years on and Roberts has only featured on three occasions for the reigning Premier League champions, highlighting just how hard he has found the task of attempting to break into Pep Guardiola’s plans at the Etihad Stadium.
As a result of this he has been pushed from pillar to post whilst on loan, taking in spells with the likes of Celtic, Girona, Norwich City, Middlesbrough, Derby County and now French side ESTAC Troyes.
Indeed it was only during his time at Celtic that he experienced any notable success as he helped the Hoops to three Scottish Premiership titles, two Scottish Cups and one League Cup.
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Now it appears he could be set for what has all the hallmarks of a make or break move, with Football Insider recently reporting that Sunderland have agreed terms with the attacker over a loan move to the Stadium of Light.
Roberts is said to be keen on a return to English football after only making two appearances this season for Troyes and is said to have watched the Black Cats’ recent 5-0 mauling of Sheffield Wednesday on Wearside.
On paper this would be a great move for the midfielder, with Sunderland competing for promotion in the third tier under a manager in Lee Johnson who is keen to strengthen his attacking options.
Prone to playing a 4-2-3-1 system, Roberts could slot in either on the right hand side or as a number 10 behind the lone striker, offering him the chance to showcase his brilliant dribbling ability and chance creation skills.
With his contract due to expire with City this coming summer, an impressive spell at the Stadium of Light could lead to a permanent move further down the line as Roberts bids to finally show everyone what all the hype was about when he took such a big risk some six years ago.