Rangers are flying high under Steven Gerrard who is on a mission of redeeming the lost glory by drawing an end to Celtic’s decade-long monopoly. They clinched a routine win over the third-tier part-timers Stranraer F.C. to kickstart their Scottish Cup journey and are preparing themselves for the upcoming fixture congestion following a couple of weeks’ winter break.
However, an appendix problem has now ruled skipper James Tavernier out for a while, and the gaffer must be having a selection dilemma over whom to pick for the right-back role ahead of their midweek encounter against St. Mirren. 18-year-old Nathan Patterson had an impressive debut last night versus Stranraer, but the former Liverpool youth coach might not deploy him yet regularly despite impressing in the Dubai camp.
“Nathan Patterson is one for the future. I wouldn’t say he is 100 per cent ready for the first team just yet but I gave him a taste of it in our friendly in Dubai last weekend and he did himself no harm.”
Revealed the Ibrox chief (as quoted by the Scotsman) while discussing on the pathway for academy prospects.
Who Should Be Preferred As Tavernier’s Understudy At Rangers?
Gerrard has not only revamped the core but also built a squad full of depth as well as quality. He has the likes of Jon Flanagan and Matt Polster capable of featuring as a right fullback, however, the form and fitness of the pair might be a worrying sign at the same time.
Flanagan has been sidelined for months before rejoining the group since recovering from yet another long-term injury. In contrast, Polster has rarely featured since his arrival failing to attune to the demands of Scottish football. Patterson lacks experience of the highest order and the manager, therefore, is tipped to trust upon the England international for his composure and confidence as revealed recently (quoted by the Glasgow Times).
“He came over to Dubai absolutely flying. He trained right through the winter camp and he’s obviously trying to earn a contract here. So I’ve got no doubts that Jon will be waiting in the wings and desperate to play.”
Even though the fans would love to see more of Patterson in the coming days, the youngster, despite all his talent and excellence, still needs to find the proper balance between attack and defence. Flanagan, on the other hand, brings in more stability defensively which should be the priority now with little scope of making errors that might eventually jeopardise the Bears’ title challenge.
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