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Thursday, 8 December 2016

Spurs rejected City winger

Manchester City's on loan inverted right winger Patrick Roberts has revealed he was rejected by both Tottenham Hotspur and Chelsea because of his size, he is 1.67m (5' 5") tall.

City brought Roberts for £12.75 million (€14.94m - AUS$21.47m - US$16.11m) and sent him on loan to Celtic for regular first-team football to aid his development. They also wanted to do the same for Ante Coric by sending him to Spain but he refused to be sent out on loan so that deal fell through.

The 19-year-old (20 next February) was a regular in the Celtic side for the then manager Ronny Deila last season and under former Swansea City and Liverpool manager Brendan Rodgers has played 1,099 minutes so far this term, scoring 4 goals and having 6 assists. 546 of those minutes have come in the Scottish Premiership.

He was disappointed and surprised at being rejected by the Chelsea and Tottenham owing to his physical stature. Smaller players like Xavi Hernandez Andreas Iniesta and Lionel Messi have achieved a lot but Roberts isn't in their calibre.

“I love watching Messi, he’s always been an idol of mine. As a kid I was criticised and disregarded for being too small, but he’s showed that size doesn’t matter. 
“I was overlooked by several academies in London because of my size — Chelsea, Tottenham, Watford, QPR — but the likes of Messi, Xavi and Iniesta showed you don’t have to be big to play football. Fulham gave me a trial in 2010 and I’ll never forget that day. I’m almost crying about it now. When I got signed by Fulham it was a great moment for me and I’ll never forget it.”

Roberts went on to spend four years at various levels at the London club, now a Championship side, before finally making his appearance for the senior team in 2013. He caught the eye of Manchester City who signed him in the summer of 2015.

The arrival of new boss Pep Guardiola this season coupled with several big names signings made it almost impossible for Roberts to break through, as many a youngster before him have found out.

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