What happens now with Nathan Patterson?

What happens now with Nathan Patterson?
LISBON, PORTUGAL - NOVEMBER 05: Nathan Patterson of Rangers FC looks on during warm up prior to the UEFA Europa League Group D stage match between SL Benfica and Rangers FC at Estadio da Luz on November 05, 2020 in Lisbon, Portugal. (Photo by Jose Manuel Alvarez/Quality Sport Images/Getty Images)

In the second and final part of our Nathan Patterson two-parter, having laid down the basics, we now have to expose the problem. Well, we say ‘problem’ but it’s a hell of a nice one to have.

In short, Nathan Patterson has now proven himself good enough to start for Rangers. He’s young, and has years ahead of him, but in the here and now the 19-year old is not going to be happy to return to the bench.

However, James Tavernier is captain and will start if fit. It’s simple as that.

So, what does Stevie G do to keep them both happy?

Well, first of all it’s a slightly moot point as the manager could well be without all three RB options come the 21st v St Johnstone, with Tavernier’s return not guaranteed, Patterson’s ban certainly starting and Leon Balogun out injured.

BUT… on the basis both Tavernier and Patterson, if all is pure and holy, are fit, how does Stevie manage them?

Some fans have argued to keep Patterson in and shift Tavernier up to RW.

It’s a proposal suggested for years, to have Tavernier as a RW to get the best out of him – but the reality is it hasn’t happened once in the 6 years he’s been at Ibrox, so give it a rest. It isn’t going to happen.

Which means it’s him or Patterson for RB.

Now, some fans suggest Patterson will be happy being loaned out and Tavernier getting his slot back, but the truth is Patterson is good enough, going by what we’ve seen, to play for this club.

But then so was Ross McCrorie and he ended up at Aberdeen – so what is the outcome of all this?

Fans saying Tav will get his place back are right – he will, he will be the first choice for RB and that doesn’t change.

Patterson has two choices when the captain returns – accept the bench at Ibrox till Tavernier retires or gets injured, or move on, either loan or permanent.

Stevie extolled McCrorie’s virtues and claimed he was a future Rangers captain, only to let him go out on loan after simply not playing him.

Don’t be at all surprised if Stevie’s praise of Patterson is just lip service, and while the kid can certainly do the business, he’s not indispensable.

Tavernier will get his place back, and Patterson either has to accept the bench or begone.

It’s not any more complicated than that.

The only possible alternative is Tavernier being sold for colossal cash so Patterson takes his place.

Not impossible but extremely unlikely.

But we definitely have two excellent options now for RB, and that’s the best thing to come out of this.

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  1. I hope we hold onto the lad, maybe promise him cup games and the odd league game. Next year is Champions League, which is another level above our fantastic European exploits of the last few seasons, which is likely to make the season even more demanding. Might be worth letting Tav take a break every now any then against some of the lesser SPL sides now that the lad has proved he can cut it at this level.

  2. This is a major issue for Nathan Patterson. Tavernier will play if fit and Gerrard seems to like his captain to play every minute every week. Patterson is ready to step up now and has the potential of Alan Hutton or Kieran Tierney to bring us in big bucks. He is the reason we have an academy. I’m sure Gerrard knows this. Playing 10-15 games a season, maybe less, is absolutely no use to him and his development.

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