The Glasgow Rangers defender has looked good so far but will have to be at his best to help overcome Celtic on Sunday.
Rangers manager Pedro Caixinha has wasted little time making his mark at Ibrox, shaking up the squad with impressive effect.
Youngsters Myles Beerman and David Bates have both been handed a chance and they have seized it with both hands, but their biggest challenge to date comes this weekend when the Gers take on Celtic in the semi-final of the Scottish Cup.
While Beerman has generated most of the buzz among Rangers fans, Bates has also looked a class act and he could well be the solution to the club’s defensive issues.
Clint Hill is fast approaching the end of his career while Danny Wilson and Rob Kiernan have generated more criticism than praise with their recent performances.
The latter in particular is widely regarded as being out of his depth and if Bates performs well against a free-scoring Celtic side it could define more than just his Rangers career.
There are still areas of his game that need to improve. However if he can keep the likes of Moussa Dembele and Leigh Griffiths quiet, it would prove he has a long-term future at Ibrox while also potentially pushing some of the deadwood closer to the exit.