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Rangers: Alan Hutton thinks Nathan Patterson could soon push for first team inclusion

Rangers: Alan Hutton thinks Nathan Patterson could soon push for first team inclusion

Former Rangers defender Alan Hutton believes that the club’s teenage right-back Nathan Patterson could be pushing for a first team place within the next few months.

The youngster played for Steven Gerrard’s side in last weekend’s 6-1 friendly win over Lokomotiv Tashkent in Dubai and, following his performance that day, Hutton feels that he is capable of challenging first-choice right-back James Tavernier for a place in the team next season.

When asked by Football Insider if he has been impressed with Patterson, Hutton replied: “Yeah, definitely. Full of confidence, full of running up and down the pitch on what would have been a hot day, full of energy, good touches – he did everything.

“He’s coming into his own that he’s wanting to put pressure on Tavernier so I think come next season he will be vying for that spot with him. He’s going to push Tavernier, he looks very good and athletic, he’s got all the qualities to be a top full-back.”

Based on Patterson’s performances at youth level for Rangers and his showing in the recent friendly against Lokomotiv Tashkent, it comes as little surprise that Hutton has been talking him up. The youngster got forward to good effect during the win over the club from Uzbekistan, his overlapping run from right-back setting up a chance for Brandon Barker during his 45 minutes on the pitch (as per rangers.co.uk).

The 19-year-old, who has alternated between full-back positions for the Light Blues’ development team this season, has shown his attacking threat in the UEFA Youth League in recent months, scoring a valuable away goal against Young Boys and providing an assist in the away win over Slovan Bratislava. He has also played his part defensively in the Scottish Challenge Cup, in which the ‘Gers have kept a clean sheet in every match that he has started. [via TransferMarkt]

It isn’t just Hutton’s eye that he has caught, either. Graeme Murty, his manager at youth team level, said that Patterson “has all the characteristics you would ascribe to an elite-level full-back” (as per Football Insider), while Champions League holders Liverpool have reportedly been keeping tabs on the teenage defender, according to Football Insider.

Whether the youngster will fulfil Hutton’s premonition that he will challenge Tavernier for a first team place next season remains to be seen – the Rangers captain is the second most-used player by Gerrard this term, having played 3,150 minutes and been ever-present in the Premiership and Europa League group stage.

Nonetheless, Patterson has demonstrated his defensive and attacking capabilities for Murty’s development side in recent months and impressed sufficiently in friendly action for the first team on Saturday to earn lavish praise from Hutton, a former right-back who speaks from the experience of 90 Rangers appearances and 50 Scotland caps and therefore seems well qualified to pass sound judgement on young defenders at Ibrox.

Rangers fans, do you agree with Hutton’s prediction that Patterson could push Tavernier for a first team place in the near future? Comment below with your views!

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Article title: Rangers: Alan Hutton thinks Nathan Patterson could soon push for first team inclusion

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