Why Rangers should prioritise a new deal for Nathan Patterson
According to claims from The Athletic journalist Jordan Campbell, Rangers are set to open negotiations with academy prospect Nathan Patterson over a new contract, with the teenager’s present deal at Ibrox set to expire next summer.
The highly-rated full-back, who has been earmarked as the long-term successor to the throne of club captain James Tavernier, is held in high regard by the youth coaching staff at Ibrox, with U-21 coach Graeme Murty labelling him as a player with impressive traits and serious potential. (h/t The Athletic)
Patterson, who has been with Rangers since he was a kid, was only promoted to Murty’s U-21 side from the U-18s prior to the start of the ongoing campaign, but his stocks have soared sky-high over the past few months due to his consistent displays in the Scottish Challenge Cup.
The Scottish U-19 international has been instrumental in Rangers Colts’ march to the semi-finals of the Scottish Challenge Cup, and while an injury after thirty minutes in the 2-0 victory over Wrexham in the quarter-final clash marked a premature end to his involvement in the tournament, Patterson did enough to earn himself rave reviews.
The talented youngster, who has also held his own in the UEFA Youth League this term, has already attracted plenty of interest from several top-flight clubs south of the border, and with his contract set to expire at the end of the season, Rangers could have their work cut out in keeping him at the club for the long term. (h/t The Athletic)
Some heavy investment over the past fifteen months or so has allowed Steven Gerrard to build a strong enough squad to compete on equal terms with arch-rivals Celtic and also the European front, with the manager now having more than one player to select from in almost all the positions on the pitch.
With that in mind, however, right-back is one area where Tavernier’s dominance has reigned supreme for quite a long time now, and it would be fair to say that the 28-year-old has been able to retain his spot in the playing eleven despite putting in some shocking performances this term.
Indeed, with Jon Flanagan struggling with injuries and American international Matt Polster failing to gain the trust of Gerrard, Tavernier has been without a recognisable challenger for a long time, as evident from the captain’s involvement in 12 Scottish Premiership games, 11 Europa League games and 2 League Cup fixtures this season.
To that end, the abrupt emergence of Nathan Patterson should come as a piece of welcome news to the Ibrox faithful, who can now look forward to the academy starlet providing Tavernier with some much-needed competition for places at right-back.
Moreover, with the 18-year-old also illustrating the versatility to play with equal efficiency as a specialist left-back, Gerrard might as well look to use him as an able competitor for Borna Barisic moving forward.
To put things into perspective, Nathan Patterson has already made significant strides towards fulfilling his potential at the tender age of 18 and Rangers should make it a top priority to secure his future at the club with a new long-term deal.
The teenage sensation has already caught the eye of several clubs south of the border with his rapid development and a new deal is likely to make it easier for the Gers to fend off interest in Patterson’s services, while also putting them in a strong negotiating position should any of the potential suitors come calling.
Looking at things from the player’s point of view, Nathan Patterson was with the U-17s just a couple of years back and he has certainly done a lot in recent times to earn himself an extended stay at his boyhood club.
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All in all, Rangers offering a new deal to their academy starlet should be an absolute no-brainer and a step that could potentially solve a nagging issue in a key area of the pitch for Gerrard in the years to come.