Rangers won’t send Nathan Patterson out on loan but need to make sure the defender plays 15-20 games this season, according to former mentor Peter MacDonald – and skipper James Tavernier will be well aware that the Scotland international is breathing down his neck for his place in the side.
Peaso worked with Patterson in the Ibrox Academy at under-15 level and knows the young defender well, as well as what is needed to make the breakthrough at Ibrox and hold down a regular first-team spot.
MacDonald is really excited by the 19-year-old defender and was impressed with his performance in place of Tavernier last weekend when Rangers beat Hibs – warning the Gers they have a “huge responsibility” to make sure Patterson doesn’t fall by the wayside before fulfilling his potential.
“Nathan is a really exciting prospect and if he gets more games it will benefit him and the club,” MacDonald said.
“It will also add real value to Nathan’s worth. He has to play between 15 and 20 games this season, whether it’s at Rangers or elsewhere.
“But I don’t see Rangers letting him go on loan. They have a huge responsibility with Nathan because he’s one of their biggest assets.
“He’s got the captain of Rangers and the best full-back in the league ahead of him at Ibrox.
“Tavernier has been outstanding for the last two years there. But I wouldn’t say it’s a no-brainer that Tav is always first choice with Nathan as his back-up.
“When any player gets a chance to impress, they have to take it. And Nathan did that against Hibs last weekend. I’m not sure what the reasons were for Tav being left out, whether the manager felt he’d dipped slightly or not.
“But Nathan did well with another great delivery for the first goal.
“Will Tav be relishing the competition? Probably not. Every player is wary of young guys coming through trying to take their place.
“He’ll be mindful that Nathan is there and he’s training with him every day.
“So he’ll know that if he doesn’t perform there’s a ready-made replacement now to go in.”