Collins can see a bit of Messi in young Celtic star

Celtic Assistant Manager John Collins has drawn parallels between on loan Manchester City winger Patrick Roberts and Barcelona forward Lionel Messi.

Roberts who was bought by City for approximately £12million back in July last year was sent out on loan to the Scottish club back in January but has only appeared six times since his move to Celtic Park.

His two goals against Hearts last week however made a few people sit up and take notice, and former Monaco midfielder Collins told stv that he does see a resemblance between Roberts and the five-time Ballon d’Or winner: “I don’t like comparing him to the best player in the world, which in my opinion is Messi.

“But you can see where people get the resemblances. He is left-footed. He likes to take people on and if he ends up half as good as Messi then he has done well.”

Collins believes that consistency is the key for his long term progression.

“That has got to be his target, to try to emulate what Lionel Messi does week-in, week-out, which is score goals, create chances,” he added.

“He is one of those players who gets you on the edge of your seat. When he gets the ball the first thing in his mind is can he take on a defender. He is a type of player I like watching.

“At the end of the day you have to have an end product and at the weekend he had what we are looking for from wide players, beating players and getting shots on target and finishing off with goals.

“The most important thing is continual progress. He has to produce week in week out, that’s what top players do.”

Celtic are now five points clear at the top of the Scottish Premiership after a 0-0 draw against Dundee in midweek. They will be hoping that Roberts can perform to a high level as they look to seal their fifth consecutive title.