Rangers coach Michael Beale has compared teenage full-back Nathan Patterson’s hunger and energy to that of Liverpool star Trent Alexander-Arnold, as quoted by the Scottish Sun.
18-year-old Patterson has been around the Gers first-team for some time now following standout performances for the Colts last season.
Having already appeared in the Europa League and the Scottish Cup, he made his Premiership bow at the weekend as a replacement for James Tavernier in the 2-0 win over Kilmarnock at Ibrox.
Now, Beale has bigged up Patterson’s ability and attitude, suggesting he’s set to provide genuine competition for the Rangers skipper over the coming months.
“When he first came over he looked like a young boy and had a lot of work to do but now every day he’s looking fitting, stronger, more focused and looking every day a little bit more like a man,” he said, as quoted by the Scottish Sun. “We’re quite excited with him and Calvin [Bassey]. We played a behind-closed-doors game last week and they both scored which is fantastic for them.”
“Nathan’s come in and I think it’s just the impact to train every single day. Tavernier needs to look over his shoulder a little bit.
“I’ve lived this scenario before with Trent Alexander-Arnold at Liverpool; a young right-back who had the same sort of energy, same sort of application to his work, so that’s a nice pat on the back for Nathan. But a word of caution, we’ve got it all to do still.”
Rangers coach compares teenage talent to Liverpool star – Verdict
Nathan Patterson has certainly impressed Rangers fans in his early outings for the senior team, with the athletic teenager keen to get forward to create chances for his teammates.
It’ll be encouraging for supporters to read these words about the player’s attitude too, which back up his own recent comments.
Patterson isn’t the finished article yet, with his struggles in a UEFA Youth League fixture against Atletico Madrid in February showing that the defensive side of his game still needs work.
Yet, being mentioned in the same breath as the world-class Alexander-Arnold, who came through the Academy at Liverpool and has since gone on to win the Champions League and Premier League titles as a key member of the starting XI, should provide a huge confidence boost.
Alexander-Arnold’s was the highest-valued full-back in the world in a study by CIES Football Observatory in the summer of 2019 at €130.2 million (approximately £117m) and following Liverpool’s domestic achievements last season, that valuation could have since risen further still.