Rangers defender Nathan Patterson has wowed fans at Ibrox since making the breakthrough into Steven Gerrard’s first-team squad – and former Scottish FA performance director Malky Mackay has admitted he’s seen the defender’s potential for a long time.
Mackay, recently appointed as Ross County manager, first spotted Patterson seven years ago and was immediately impressed with the “gangly” youngster.
Patterson’s progress this season has seen him named in the Scotland squad for Euro 2020 and Mackay thinks it is right the way Rangers have given him time to develop under captain James Tavernier.
“Nathan is one we saw coming as a gangly 12-year-old who was about four stone wet through and five feet high,” Mackay said, as quoted by The Scotsman.
“But, my goodness, you could see the football potential of this youngster. That’s where you look at them and think ‘give them time’.
“Rangers gave him time and we certainly played him a lot with the Scotland youth teams on the way through. In the last year or so, he dipped into the under-21s and then Rangers have felt his progress has been such that he was involved heavily in the team which won the league this season.”
What next for Patterson?
The defender has had to bide his time this season with James Tavernier in outstanding for but he’ll be hoping he can get more regular minutes next term.
While a loan move could be a possibility, the idea of Patterson heading out does seem unlikely given the lack of cover for Tavernier at Ibrox currently.
Regular appearances are going to be crucial for the teenager though if he is to continue to develop and live up to his potential at Rangers.
His involvement with the Scotland squad this summer should see him make his senior debut imminently and it is going to be hard for Steven Gerrard to keep Patterson on the sidelines when he returns to Ibrox.