Nathan Patterson has spoken to the Daily Record about his ambitions at Rangers and his role model at the club.
The teenager is in action for Scotland U19s this week and netted the opener in a 2-2 draw against Belarus on Wednesday night.
He might not have meant to score, but he’s modelling his game on the Rangers skipper, James Tavernier, and looking to get forward to contribute at every opportunity.
🏴 Nathan Patterson with the opening goal for #SCO19s tonight. 100% a shot and not a cross 😅
— Rangers Youth Academy (@RFC_Youth) October 9, 2019
Rangers youngster Patterson lauds Tavernier
“Having the club captain in my position is brilliant and Tav’s the perfect player for me to try to copy,” Patterson told the Daily Record. “I’m learning from the best. The challenge for me is to one day take his place.”
“He’s been a brilliant player for Rangers. He’s a great defender, gets forward a lot and gets goals and assists, too.
“It’s been a big help being able to watch him in training and I’ve had a few chats with him, too. I’ve trained with the first-team quite a bit this season and that’s been a really useful experience for me.”
Despite still being shy of his 18th birthday, he then goes on to target making a first-team appearance by the end of the 2019/20 season.
Tavernier has come under major scrutiny in recent times, following his high profile errors in the Europa League against Young Boys.
Criticism in the wake of that display was justified, but many went well over the top with their calls for him to be dropped or stripped of the captaincy.
There’s no doubt he’s prone to individual errors every now and then. Yet, at his best, he’s an all-action full-back who can be effective defensively as well as creating and scoring goals at the other end.
As for Patterson making his first-team bow – stranger things have happened. Dapo Mebude and Josh McPake both made their debuts aged 17, and his main Academy competition, Jordan Houston, is currently out on loan with Ayr United.
If he continues to impress and the Gers are drawn against minnows in the Scottish Cup later on in the campaign, he could be granted a cameo, as Houston was at Cowdenbeath in early 2019.