Stark urges Celtic to replace Roberts with Hayes

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Billy Stark believes that Celtic should try to replace Patrick Roberts with Aberdeen star Jonny Hayes.

Roberts’ 18-month-long loan spell at Parkhead came to an end following the Scottish Cup final win over the Dons on Saturday meaning that Brendan Rodgers is now expected to be on the look out for a replacement.

And Stark, 60, thinks that Hayes is the perfect option for the Bhoys following a brilliant campaign at Pittodrie saying that he is “the finished article”.

The winger scored 11 goals and supplied an impressive 24 assists in 44 appearances across all competitions for Aberdeen and was the only non-Hoops player to be included on the shortlist for the Scottish player of the year award.

Stark spent three years of his playing career with the Bhoys and has also been the caretaker manager on two occasions during the 1990s.

He was quoted by the Daily Record as saying that he would still like to see Roberts return to Parkhead but assist king Hayes would make the perfect back-up solution if an agreement with Manchester City cannot be reached.

“I see the logic in Celtic going for Hayes and you would link that to their hopes of keeping Roberts,” said Stark.

“Celtic will know roughly where they are with the player and what he wants or if Man City are willing to sell for a reasonable price.

“You would doubt they could do a permanent deal and although Paddy has had a terrific second half of the season there is still loads of potential to be tapped into.

“Hayes, on the other hand, is more the finished article.”

Roberts, 20, made 60 appearances for Celtic during his year-and-a-half long loan spell from Man City.

He scored a total of 11 goals in the season that has just ended and supplied 14 assists as he helped Rodgers’ men on their way to the treble and an unbeaten domestic campaign.

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