As Rangers captain James Tavernier signs a new deal at Ibrox, it’s been met with a decidedly warm reaction from a gracious Gers support.
This is a talented right-back with remarkable numbers who could almost certainly do a job at Premier League level committing his best years to Ibrox.
But the Gers captain’s signature – which will keep him at the club until 2023 – does present one issue in the squad which many are scratching their heads over how to resolve.
The Ibrox teenager has taken huge strides in his development during Tavernier’s absence and was lauded as one of the “brightest prospects ever” at right-back in Scottish football history by manager Steven Gerrard.
The Ibrox gaffer also claimed that an upcoming suspension could hamper the 19-year-old’s impressive development as the club appeal the six-match ban for a Covid-19 breach.
That has had some thinking that perhaps a loan move would be the best option for Patterson next season as he vies for more minutes to grow his ever-increasing reputation.
But with only Tavernier in the squad – and Patterson’s opportunity coming with injury to the skipper – we would be mad to farm out such a young cost-effective talent to sign a replacement back-up.
Where Patterson is at in his career is perfect for the roles required of him at Rangers, his increasing trustworthiness evidence that the Gers can now look to rest the athletic James Tavernier.
Particularly in the early part of the season, Tav was ever-present, and having the ability to rest such an influential player has plenty of benefits.
Not only that, but Rangers play a huge amount of games over a season, and Patterson – or any backup player in the squad for that matter – will get their chance over the campaign.
But if Rangers want evidence that keeping a precocious young talent around amid a depth of competition is a good idea, they only need to look at Man City and the Premier League.
Attacking midfielder Phil Foden, 20, has been a revelation in recent campaigns and the England international is now a key player at the Etihad, shining in the Champions League against Dortmund this week.
Now said to be worth up to £130m, Foden has continued to develop at City despite the likes of Kevin de Bruyne, Bernardo Silva, Riyah Mahrez, even David Silva in previous campaigns, taking his space.
This has clearly had a positive impact on the England kid with Foden now amongst the nation’s brightest talents and someone who has rubbed shoulders with some immense talent already in his career.
Rangers were even said to be one of a number clubs interested in a short-term deal for the attacking midfielder but City refused to bite and kept him around their training ground.
It’s evidence that Rangers don’t need to let Patterson leave for the right-back to reach his potential – in fact, there’s probably no-one better he could be learning from than the Ibrox captain.
Rangers fans were delighted to see James Tavernier sign a new deal at Ibrox but many struggled to hold back tears as the club captain took to Twitter to celebrate it.