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Birmingham City offer new contract to Celtic target – Should the Hoops revive their interest?

Mitch Roberts
Mitch Roberts

Why Celtic should revive their interest in Birmingham City’s Mitch Roberts

According to a report from Birmingham Live, Birmingham City are set to hand a new contract to academy ace Mitch Roberts, who had been linked with a transfer to Celtic last summer.

Roberts has been with Birmingham since 2011, after the club’s scouts picked him up while playing Sunday League football. Having risen through the age groups, the defender broke into the U18 side in the 2018/19 campaign and made 12 appearances, scoring one goal.

Following a string of impressive performances, the centre-back was drafted into the club’s development squad. In June last year, the defender signed his first professional contract with Birmingham.

Celtic target Mitch Roberts
Birmingham City starlet Mitch Roberts (Courtesy: BCFC)

In the ongoing campaign, the centre-back has established himself as a regular for the U23 side, racking up 23 appearances in all competitions.

Celtic, meanwhile, have carried on with their domestic dominance. Having lifted the Scottish League Cup in December, they are thirteen points ahead of second-placed Rangers in the Premiership title race. In addition, they are still in contention to win the Scottish FA Cup as well.

Celtic’s need for defensive reinforcements

Celtic’s current centre-back contingent consists of the ever-present figures of Kristoffer Ajer and Christopher Jullien, along with Jozo Simunovic and Hatem Abd Elhamed.

The former two have featured in 45+ matches this season and are integral figures in the side for Neil Lennon. Whereas, the latter two missed large chunks of the campaign with injuries.

Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer in action. (Getty Images)
Celtic defender Kristoffer Ajer in action. (Getty Images)

As a result, Lennon has had to use Nir Bitton at the heart of the backline. But with Simunovic’s contract expiring in a year and Ajer heavily linked with a switch away from Celtic Park this season, the Hoops should look to add another central defender to the ranks this summer.

In that regard, signing the young Roberts would serve the Scottish champions well. While the youngster is yet to make his first-team debut at Birmingham, he has shown enough potential with the youth teams. The fact that Premier League champions Manchester City were also interested in him last summer should be an indicator of it.

Roberts may not be the finished product as of yet. But adding the youngster would add depth to Celtic’s centre-back department. And if he continues to develop at this rate, with experience, he would grow into a key player for the Scottish heavyweights in the near future.

Mitch Roberts
Mitch Roberts

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Verdict

Given the uncertainty surrounding Ajer’s future at the club, it would bode well for Celtic to bring in additional reinforcements at centre-back.

And Roberts, to that end, would represent a handy acquisition. He would be able to provide depth, and with experience, he could grow into a regular member of the team. Hence, the Hoops should revive their interest in the Birmingham City youngster.

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