If one player is starting to get himself a serious reputation after just three senior league starts for Rangers, it’s Nathan Patterson.
His initial debut all those years ago v Stranraer was fantastic – we were deeply impressed by what we saw and his maturity in that match.
It was a foreshadow of things to come for sure.
The 19-year old, despite the controversy, has completely blossomed in James Tavernier’s absence, and it’s going to cause a major problem.
Today we’re going to look at this situation in a bit more depth, and pick apart what we’re seeing unfold here.
In this piece, it’s the literal blunt truth that Patterson is exceeding all expectations, and starting to really gain attention – there’s talk of him for Scotland, and we’re even hearing whispers that he’s going to attract attention from other teams soon.
Not impossible – he was an absolute standout yesterday, with more effective defending again and a few (failed) attempts at crosses.
The lad can definitely put in a shift – and he’s causing Stevie a major future conundrum.
The reality is this – Stevie can’t drop him. Patterson will be banned soon, we know this, and it’ll make it a non-issue short term, but with a RB this talented, our manager simply can’t put him back on the bench.
Which leaves a major problem – Patterson will, like all players, want to play – he’s had a taste and he’s proven himself already – and he won’t be happy to return to the sidelines and have Tavernier take back over.
This is where Rangers are in a slight pickle – this kid is too good to be on the bench, and like many other squad players (Arfield, Hagi, Wright, Defoe) won’t be content there long term.
Now it’s true you have two great players per position in theory, and that would fit at RB, but Patterson’s situation is unique – he’s been forced into playing, and he’s not only done well, but excelled – he’s actually done as well, albeit in a different style, as his senior peer normally does.
So when Tav is fit again – what next? Patterson back to the bench?
Don’t think so.
We will offer some paths for this situation in the next piece.