Two teenage defensive prospects at Rangers have caught the eye of one of Europe’s top clubs after impressing in the Light Blues’ youth setup.
Football Insider reported that Champions League holders and English Premier League leaders Liverpool are keeping tabs on 18-year-old Nathan Patterson and 15-year-old Leon King as potential additions to their academy.
The news comes off the back of another Football Insider report this week which claimed that Rangers have offered a new contract to Patterson.
According to Football Insider, Patterson has had some ringing endorsements from Rangers staff past and present, with the club’s under-20 boss Graeme Murty saying that he has “all the characteristics you would ascribe to an elite-level full-back”.
Former ‘Gers striker Peter Lovenkrands added that the teenage right-back was reminiscent of fellow Ibrox alumnus Alan Hutton, as per Football Insider.
The 18-year-old has featured in Rangers’ UEFA Youth League campaign this season, scoring in the first round against Young Boys. [via TransferMarkt]
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King has been playing primarily at centre-back for the club’s youth teams and, as noted by Football Insider, was given his debut for their development side at the age of just 14, while he has also been capped four times by Scotland’s under-17s.
That Liverpool are in the frame to sign the teenage duo doesn’t seem surprising given Rangers manager Steven Gerrard’s lengthy affiliation to the Anfield club during his playing career, while current ‘Gers players Jon Flanagan, Ryan Kent and Sheyi Ojo have all featured for the Reds – as has Jordan Rossiter, who is on loan at Fleetwood from the Ibrox club.
While 15-year-old King is still a way off playing senior football, the first team prospects of Patterson do not appear great in the short-term – only two players aged 21 or under (Jake Hastie and Josh McPake) have played for Gerrard’s first team this season and they have had just 92 senior minutes between them at Ibrox.
Of course, the Gers lost highly-rated prospect Billy Gilmour to the riches of the Premier League back in 2017, so Liverpool’s interest will certainly set alarm bells ringing.
Even though Patterson and King are still awaiting a first team breakthrough, Rangers may be reluctant to lose two players who have shown plenty of promise in the youth ranks, judging by the praise heaped upon the former and international recognition for the latter.
If the youngsters are keen on joining Liverpool and if the English club make an enticing offer, perhaps Rangers could try to convince the Reds to loan the duo back to Ibrox for a season or two as part of any potential deal.
Rangers fans, do you think the club could struggle to keep Patterson and King in the wake of interest from Liverpool? Have your say by commenting below!
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