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Roberts should aim to emulate Messi – Collins

Celtic assistant manager John Collins feels the club’s talented young midfielder Patrick Roberts should aim to emulate Lionel Messi.

Roberts struck two goals in Celtic’s 3-1 Scottish Premiership victory against Hearts on Saturday in what was his second start for the club after joining on loan from Manchester City.

The 19-year-old’s first goal was a delightful chip over Hearts goalkeeper Neil Alexander that drew comparisons to Barcelona star Messi from former Celtic manager Neil Lennon and Collins accepted that he sees why people have likened Roberts to the Argentine forward.

“I don’t like comparing him to the best player in the world, which in my opinion is Messi,” Collins said ahead of Celtic’s Scottish Premiership trip to Dundee on Tuesday.

“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.

“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.”

Collins added that Roberts must continue to develop his end product if he is to make it at the highest level.

“He is one of those players who gets you on the edge of your seat,” Collins added.

“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.

“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.”

Mon 4 Apr, 2016
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