Patrick Roberts is a reputation the Atlético Madrid defence gained’t overlook any time quickly.
The 21-year-old, on mortgage at Girona from Manchester Metropolis, ran the La Liga giants ragged on Sunday in a 1-1 draw at Montilivi. One of many standout gamers, he brought about large issues for Diego Simeone’s facet each time he acquired the ball.
Together with his first contact of matchday 14 the Englishman set the tone, flicking the ball inside, first-time, to Alex Granell on the wing after intercepting possession; good positioning, fast considering, the proper choice.
From there it was onwards and upwards.
Choosing up possession in areas of the pitch made tight by a compact Atleti earlier than beating a person to open up house, then turning on the afterburners, his first sufferer was midfielder Rodri, left scrambling behind him following a drop of the shoulder early on. After another of these the pivot determined he didn’t fancy the battle anymore, and as an alternative it was right-back Santiago Arias’ flip to attempt to include him.
Time and time once more Roberts dribbled previous the Colombian, beating him for tempo in addition to stability to depart the defender scrambling desperately to drag him again. The one factor lacking was for the transfer to be completed, the attacker’s crosses not being fairly linked with by the Girona forwards.
That modified with solely a minute left of the primary half.
Catching Rodri napping in a harmful place, Roberts confirmed fast considering to produce the run of Cristhian Stuani with a wonderful cross, and the Uruguayan was then introduced down for a penalty by Jan Oblak – the in-form striker duly transformed.
Girona have been 1-Zero up and it was largely due to Roberts, who stayed engaged even when a 0-Zero scoreline seemed sure and others already had their minds again within the altering room.
Total it was a wonderful show on each a person stage and by way of the contribution to the staff, and when the teen was taken off for Cristian Portu with simply over an hour gone, Montilivi recognised their new favorite’s efficiency with a standing ovation.
It was one other benchmark in a interval by which Roberts has gone from a bit-part participant choosing up 10 minutes right here and there from the bench, to beginning 4 video games in a row in opposition to La Liga royalty.
In most of these video games he has made an influence, too.
In his first league begin for Girona in opposition to Valencia, Roberts produced a superb dribble and shot that was parried into the trail of Pere Pons for the winner. Within the Catalan derby in opposition to Espanyol, he was recurrently a menace and would have scored if not for veteran keeper Diego Lopez.
Then got here the most effective exhibiting but, in opposition to Atletico.
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Every sport sees an enchancment, as his coach identified when requested in regards to the participant within the post-match press convention following the Atletico draw.
“He created issues for Atleti’s defence and each time we acquired the ball down his facet he was able to holding the ball then breaking strains,” Eusebio Sacristán defined. “I’m very happy with him, he’s very younger however he retains rising, taking steps ahead in his growth. He’s exhibiting that he’s excellent and we’re assured he’ll maintain enhancing.”
Cadena Ser Girona journalist Raül Muxach is one individual not shocked by the mortgage participant’s nice sport, telling talkSPORT earlier than kick-off: “If he doesn’t return to Metropolis I’d do every part to maintain him.
“We had already seen when he was taking part in 10 minutes right here, 15 there, that he was a participant who may give Girona one thing completely different. I appreciated him rather a lot as a result of I feel he’s the one participant who can break opposition strains with a person transfer,” he continued.
Beforehand, Manchester Metropolis mortgage gamers have come to Montilivi and struggled to make an influence, being missed for a well-established beginning XI that’s extremely tough to interrupt into. In accordance with the Girona knowledgeable nevertheless, Roberts has exceeded expectations by speedily adapting to the membership.
“I feel he’s now absolutely tailored,” Muxach defined, “and with 4 begins in a row, if he had any doubts in regards to the transfer to start with, he gained’t now.
“I feel it should simply get higher. The language could be an impediment however I don’t see it that approach. And he has a number of persona: in his first sport as a starter he instructed Borja Garcia off for not passing the ball to him when he was open. And I assumed to myself ‘wow’. He’s no shrinking violet. He’s a really decided participant, and when he begins scoring he’ll be even higher.
“And, regardless of being 21, he has his head in the proper place.
“We had seen movies of him taking part in for Celtic, out on the wing, dribbling previous three or 4 folks then ending. However since he got here right here we’ve additionally seen him realizing when to run, when to carry his place. 21-year-olds are often all about explosiveness, however we’ve seen him going: ‘OK, now isn’t the time to go on a run, I’ll maintain the ball. Now I must maintain maintain of possession’. Enjoying like a veteran.”
With glowing opinions, the followers gained over, and now the all-important contribution in entrance of purpose that was lacking from his performances, Roberts is on a transparent upward trajectory at Girona.
A participant who provides them one thing completely different to everybody else of their squad, if his present type continues the Catalans will certainly attempt to maintain him past this season. If Metropolis don’t produce other concepts.