'Elite-level' Nathan Patterson could end Matt Polster's Rangers career

Steven Gerrard, Manager of Rangers FC looks on during the UEFA Europa League group G match between Rangers FC and FC Porto at Ibrox Stadium on November 07, 2019 in Glasgow, United Kingdom.

Nathan Patterson hasn't featured for Steven Gerrard in the Scottish Premiership this season - neither has Matt Polster, apart from one 26-minute cameo.

Matt Polster of Rangers in action during the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying round 2nd Leg match between Rangers and St Joseph at Ibrox Stadium on July 18, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Graeme Murty believes that Rangers teenager Nathan Patterson has everything it takes to be an ‘elite’ full-back in the years to come, in quotes reported by our sister site Rangers News - and that is worrying news for seldom-seen summer signing Matt Polster.

Under academy manager Craig Mulholland, the Glasgow giants have expressed a desire to establish a pathway from the reserves to the first-team. So far, however, the likes of Dapo Mebude and Nathan Young-Coombes are yet to make their mark under Steven Gerrard while the highly-rated Liam Burt joined Old Firm neighbours Celtic when his contract expired over the summer.

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But, in 18-year-old Patterson, Rangers appear to have a player capable of making the step up with ease.

 

A versatile wideman who can play on the right or the left, Patterson has displayed a composure and poise well beyond his tender years during his outings for the second string. As you might expect for a modern-day full-back, he is at his best when driving forward into the final third.

So USA international Polster, who has played just two league games for The Gers since joining from Chicago Fire 10 months ago, could soon find himself slipping even further down the pecking order.

Elite level

“I think he’s really accelerated since the start of the season. He’s really pleasing to work with and he’s got all the characteristics you would ascribe to an elite-level full-back,” said Murty, who was a right-back himself in his playing days.

Rangers manager Graeme Murty looks on during the Rangers v Celtic Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match at Ibrox Stadium on March 11, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

“He’s got the frame, he’s got the technique, he’s got a level of subtlety and disguise that is generally lacking in younger players. All we need to do is be patient with the kid at the moment because we still have to build him a body. Once he gets that, then hopefully, he can get to the next stage.”

If there is one area where Rangers are a little weak, it’s at right-back with club captain James Tavernier lacking any real top quality back-up. Gerrard is seemingly unwilling to throw Polster in at the deep end with the American playing just 26 minutes of Premiership football so far this season.

Could Polster be about to slip behind a teenager who is eight years younger in Gerrard's plans?

Matt Polster of Rangers in action during the UEFA Europa League First Qualifying round 2nd Leg match between Rangers and St Joseph at Ibrox Stadium on July 18, 2019 in Glasgow, Scotland.

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