Celtic beating Man City to sign this 18-year-old prodigy from the Championship would do them a world of good

Celtic should nab starlet Mitchell Roberts from Birmingham City

According to The Sun, Celtic are set to go head-to-head with reigning Premier League champions Man City in a transfer tug-of-war over Birmingham City prodigy Mitchell Roberts. 

Both the clubs are hot on trail of the 18-year-old centre-back, who has impressed with his stellar performances in the academy sides at St. Andrew’s, with the report claiming that the starlet caught the eye of Man City while playing in a U-23s friendly fixture at the Etihad. 

Roberts, who is yet to make his first-team bow for the Blues, suffered a serious knee injury during his first year as a scholar in the academy before returning back to action following a lengthy rehab procedure. 

The talented teenager has earned rave reviews for his rapid development ever since, featuring regularly for the club’s U-23 development side.

His hard work in the academy ranks was rewarded with a first professional deal earlier in the summer and The Sun understands that Birmingham City are open to selling him for the right price. 

Celtic, though, are slightly ahead of Man City in the race to sign the youngster, with the Scottish clubs free to complete deals before the closure of the continental transfer window on Monday. 

Manchester City's English defender John Stones participates in a training session on the eve of the UEFA Champions League first leg quarter-final football match between Liverpool and...

On the contrary, the Premier League champions will have to wait at least till January to follow up their interest in the starlet, meaning that the Hoops should be looking to nab Mitchell from Birmingham City over the next three days. 

Celtic adopted significant measures to cope with the departure of several of their key players at the back earlier in the summer, with Kieran Tierney, Mikael Lustig, Filip Benkovic, Dedryck Boyata, Emilio Izaguirre and Cristian Gamboa all heading for the exit door at Parkhead.

In response,  the Hoops grabbed the headlines with a big-money deal for French centre-back Christopher Jullien, whilst Boli Bolingoli-Mbombo, Hatem Abd Elhamed and, most recently, Patrick Bauer also arrived to shore up the defence. 

As well as that, Celtic have also shown an inclination to bolster their youth ranks by bringing in a couple of promising youngsters from south of the border this summer, with Southampton forward Jonathan Afolabi and Bolton Wanderers’ prodigy Luca Connell coming through the door at the club to supplement the development side with some real quality.  

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And a potential deal for Mitchell Roberts could see Celtic add yet another gem to their academy ranks.

The 18-year-old is still not a finished article by any means but he apparently has the potential to mature into a really fine defender and Celtic’s gamble to sign him this summer might as well go on to pay rich dividends over the years to come. 

Looking at things from Roberts’ perspective, he is likely to have a better prospect of playing in the first-team at Parkhead in the next couple of years or so if he manages to impress the coaching staff over there with his eagerness to learn and high levels of commitment. 

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Plus, the lure of guaranteed silverware and the promise of playing in European competitions should also tempt the youngster to complete a move at this stage of his career. 

With that in mind, it is imperative to say that Celtic should go all out in their pursuit of the highly-rated 18-year-old before the deadline on Monday.

Written by Sayan Chatterjee

A Premier League enthusiast and an avid follower of the beautiful game... keen eye for tactical battles and love to discuss the financial aspects of football...other hobbies include reading, listening to music, playing FIFA on PlayStation, traveling, etc.
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