Glasgow (AFP) – Celtic winger Patrick Roberts says he turned down the chance to go to the under-20 World Cup with England to create history with the Hoops.
The 20-year-old had played a key part in firing Paul Simpson’s English youngsters to the finals in South Korea, which are due to start on May 20.
But the on-loan Manchester City winger has elected to miss the tournament in order to turn out for Celtic in the Scottish Cup final against Aberdeen on May 27 as the Glasgow club bid to seal a first domestic treble since 2001.
“Obviously when we got to the final that was the talking point and we had discussions,” Roberts said.
“Playing for my club and country are both proud honours for me so it is never easy. But the chance to play for the treble and make history at this club is important to me.
“That’s what I came here to do and what I want to finish doing.”
Roberts grabbed a double in Celtic’s 4-1 rout of St Johnstone in Glasgow on Saturday to help extend their unbeaten domestic run to 43 games.
And manager Brendan Rodgers is delighted that the former Fulham player has elected to stay in an attempt to end his 18-month stint at the club in style.
“It was great for us,” the Hoops boss admitted.
“It’s a difficult one for the player because obviously he loves it here but he had the chance to go to a World Cup and not many players get the chance to do that.
“I think it tells you everything about his enjoyment here and how he wants to be part of hopefully creating some history here by finishing it off by winning a cup and claiming some records in the league.
“You don’t get the chance to do that too many times in your career.”
The winger will report back to City for pre-season training in the summer but Rodgers admits he’d like to bring him back to Celtic on a permanent deal.
“He’s an outstanding talent. He’s a player that of course we’d love to have here, but we have to respect he’s still a Manchester City player,” the Hoops boss said.
“If there’s ever a possibility of doing it then of course it’s something that I would look at.”
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