Patrick Roberts – One for the future

Patrick Roberts

I‘ve been to both Fulham matches this season at Ipswich and Milwall and I can categorically tell you that Patrick Roberts is going to be a world beater within 5 years.

Now I’m a Fulham fan myself so I suppose I’ll be hit with accusations of bias but when you see this kid play you can apologise to me. He is the real deal.

In the FA Youth Cup Final last season he absolutely ran riot against Chelsea, causing their defenders problems all night. Chelsea actually won that game 5-4 after extra time, but so what? Chelsea are forever loaning out youngsters, like Josh McEachran – another one tipped for big things yet on loan again, this time to Vitesse Arnhem.

He is quick, he can beat a player, he is not afraid to take people on, he can shoot. The only minor thing missing from his game – and I mean minor, is he needs to bulk up a bit, just be that little bit stronger. However that will come over time and if that’s the only criticism you can give a 17 year old then he can’t be bad.

Unfortunately Roberts has only made two appearances off the bench so far this season. Felix Magath has had many excuses for it, the first was that he ‘wasn’t fit enough’. He looked fit to me when he came on and changed the game against Ipswich. And what exactly constitutes ‘being fit’ to Felix Magath? To me it seems like if you can’t run a lap of a football field with a 200kg punch bag held above your head then you are judged as ‘not fit’. Magath’s second excuse was that he ‘was too small’. So would you have left Lionel Messi out the team then?

Many Fulham fans are growing increasingly frustrated with Magath, including me. We have lost our two opening games and the only person to blame is the German, he has left England’s future star on the bench in both games.

There are reports Liverpool have made a bid to buy Roberts and many other top clubs are interested, such as Arsenal and Manchester United but if I was Roberts I wouldn’t be leaving now. Will he get game time at Liverpool ahead of Philippe Coutinho? No. Will he get game time at Arsenal ahead of Mesut Özil? No. Will he get game time at Manchester United ahead of Juan Mata? No. We have seen it all too often, players who are tipped to be the next big thing, move to clubs like Manchester City, United, Arsenal, Chelsea and Liverpool. Just look at Jack Rodwell. He was apparently ‘the next Steven Gerrard’ at Everton, so he went to City, barely played and now he’s at Sunderland.

Hopefully Roberts will use his head and stay at Fulham, because he will get game time at Craven Cottage – he is miles better than what we have at the moment and he can establish his reputation at Fulham, and then maybe move to a big club. But Patrick, please do not move now, because you haven’t fully proved yourself.

It will be interesting to see if Roberts is given a fair chance throughout the season and I certainly hope he does because Fulham have a far higher chance of getting back into the Premier League with this little wizard playing.

Please, look out for Patrick Roberts. He will be in the England squad in five years time. And he will probably be at a Top 4 Premier League club, whether he’s going to be a Callum Chambers – brought straight into the first team or a Jack Rodwell – in the reserves for two years.

Dan is an aspiring sports journalist from Surrey. He is a Fulham season ticket holder and regularly attends away matches. Dan has been writing for Proven Quality since April 2014. Feel free to get in touch, his email is
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