By Scott Taylor
Patrick Roberts is again being linked with a move to Liverpool, according to the Daily Mirror. Roberts, 17, has made 11 appearances this season for Fulham, and has attracted interest from a whole host of Premier League clubs. The winger, who signed for Fulham from AFC Wimbledon in July 2010, is rumoured to be moving to the highest tier in English football.
Roberts impressed at Under 18 level, where he scored 23 goals in 51 appearances across two seasons. He made a bigger impact in the 2013-14 season in the Under 18s, where he scored 14 goals in 27 games, including five goals in eight FA Youth Cup appearances. This included a hat-trick as Roberts almost single-handedly beat Tottenham Under 18s in January 2014. This prompted a promotion to the Under 21s. Despite making only two appearances, where he failed to score, it was enough to convince Fulham manager Felix Magath to promote him to the first team.
Roberts burst onto the scene in the latter stages of that season when Magath named him on the substitute’s bench for games against Newcastle United and Manchester City. He went on to make his debut for the Cottagers in the latter fixture, when he emerged in the 55th minute in the 5-0 defeat at the Etihad. He carried on his position in the Fulham side at the start of the current 2014/15 season, where he came on as a 74th minute substitute in the 2-1 defeat away to Ipswich Town on the opening day. He provided his one and only assist of the season so far for Tim Hoogland’s goal in the 86th minute. He earned his first start for Fulham in front of the home fans eleven days later, in the 1-0 defeat against Championship newboys Wolves. The 17-year-old has been in the matchday squad for all of Fulham’s 17 Championship games this season, but has only made two starts, in the games with Wolves and [USH]. He has come on as a substitute nine times, whilst remained an unused substitute six times. The forward has also featured in the League Cup this season. He was an unused substitute in Fulham’s 1st and 2nd round wins over Brentford and Doncaster Rovers respectively, but started and played 72 minutes in their 5-2 defeat at home to Derby.
Like may young starlets in the game today, Roberts has represented his country. He has played for England at Under 16, Under 17 and more recently Under 19 level. In the summer, Roberts impressed for the England Under 17s as they won the 2014 European Under 17 Championship. He scored three goals and created four assists and was therefore named in the ‘Team of the Tournament’ in Malta. His two best performances came in the opening two games. He was involved in every goal in the 3-0 against Malta as he scored a brace and created the other. He then continued that with a hat-trick of assists in England Under 17’s 4-1 win over Turkey.
In August, Roberts received a call up to the Under 19s, and has played the full 90 minutes in every one of their three UEFA Under 19 European Championship qualifiers. He played as a right winger in all the games, where he scored four goals, and created six others, meaning that the prodigy was involved in ten of the fifteen goals scored so far. He was most influential in the 8-0 win over Luxemburg, where he scored a brace and created a hat-trick of assists. Since making his England debut as an Under 16 in September 2012, Roberts has played 21 times for his country, scoring 11 times.
It is understood that Fulham want to keep Roberts, who has another two years left on his current deal at Craven Cottage. If he is to sign for the Reds, then Fulham will insist on loaning him back to London for the rest of the season.
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