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…
Patrick Roberts faces an uncertain future with Middlesbrough.
After joining the club on loan from Manchester City at the start of the season the winger has struggled to establish himself under Neil Warnock.
Roberts has made just three starts for the club leading to speculation that he could be recalled by Pep Guardiola’s side and sent out on loan to another club as he seeks regular first team football.
Neil Warnock has said that he won’t stand in Roberts’ way, but should he stay with Middlesbrough?
The team at FLW have their say…
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I still think he has a role to play in the Middlesbrough team.
For one reason or another, Neil Warnock just doesn’t see Roberts as a regular in his plans at this moment in time, but I still think he can force his way into the starting XI in the near future.
The winger hasn’t settled down at a club properly yet, and I think he needs a run of consistent games in the team to fulfil his potential.
You don’t play for Manchester City and Celtic by chance, so I think he’ll be eager to prove a point in the near future.
Rotation is going to be key for Middlesbrough, as they look to keep their squad fresh as they challenge for promotion into the Premier League.
That’ll give Roberts the ideal opportunity to impress, and it’s vital that he grasps it with both hands at the earliest of opportunities.
They should definitely look to keep Roberts for the rest of the season.
Neil Warnock is hardly blessed with an excess of attacking talent at the Riverside and, in my eyes, the Manchester City loanee has the potential to provide the sort of creative spark the squad needs.
He hasn’t been at his best this term and opportunities have been limited but I would like to see Boro persevere with him.
When he’s at his best his fast footwork and incisive runs can have a huge impact on games – that’s something Warnock may need if his side are going to push for the play-offs this season.
Should Patrick Roberts be an automatic starter for Middlesbrough?
Whilst Roberts have endured an extremely testing period back at the Riverside, I don’t believe Middlesbrough should give up on him just yet.
He still has plenty to offer, and with Boro not exactly overloaded on wingers, it only takes one performance to turn things around for Roberts.
With games coming thick and fast over the festive period, plus the start of the FA Cup early next month, I think Boro should stick with Roberts and give him the opportunity to show his full potential.
As for Roberts, Middlesbrough are a good fit for him, which means he should stay and fight for his place.