Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has raved about exciting 19-year-old full-back Nathan Patterson ahead of the Premiership fixture against Kilmarnock, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
Patterson came up through the Academy system and made his senior competitive debut for the Gers in a Scottish Cup clash against Stranraer in January.
He’s since become a permanent member of the squad and following the departures of Matt Polster and Jon Flanagan in the summer, he is currently serving as the backup to James Tavernier.
Gerrard has been impressed by the Scotland youth international in recent weeks and says he’s pushing the skipper.
“It’s interesting to watch Borna [Barisic] and James because they’ve now got big competition for places,” he said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun. “The way he’s looking in training, I wouldn’t think twice about putting Patterson in to start a game.
“And [Calvin] Bassey has already proved that he’s capable of stepping in as well. Both James and Borna know they have a challenge for their positions, which is good.”
Gerrard praises young Rangers right-back Nathan Patterson – Verdict
Patterson is the only current permanent member of the first-team squad – with the exception of veteran Allan McGregor – to have come up through the Rangers youth system.
Supporters are keen to see homegrown talents succeed at senior level and he’s certainly looked the part when he’s received opportunities.
He’s only made two substitute appearances in all competitions so far this season but that stat is more an indication of the outstanding form of James Tavernier than anything else.
It’s encouraging that Gerrard has been impressed by Patterson’s application and quality in training, although it’s still highly unlikely he’ll hand out that first start of the season to the teenager against Kilmarnock on Sunday.
The Gers boss has lost three times at Rugby Park since his appointment and will be opting for his strongest side.
Yet, if he keeps his standards up, perhaps when the cup competitions come around, we’ll see Patterson named in a starting XI.