Alan Hutton has tipped Nathan Patterson to put some serious pressure on star man James Tavernier following his first league start for Rangers.
The former Gers defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the teenage full-back had the “world at his feet” after a tumultuous couple of weeks.
Patterson started his first Premiership game in Wednesday’s 1-0 win over Livingston.
The teenager also played for the second half of the Europa League win over Royal Antwerp, netting just 17 seconds after his introduction.
The youngster’s increase in game time has come due to an injury to first-choice right-back James Tavernier.
Steven Gerrard confirmed to the Glasgow Times the captain’s recovery process had been slower than he would have liked.
The Gers boss also admitted there was currently no return date for the 29-year-old.
However, Patterson has also been at the heart of controversy at Ibrox after breaching lockdown rules by attending a party.
Hutton insisted the teenager could put his misdemeanour behind him and put Tavernier under pressure by impressing in coming weeks.
Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge: “He’s got the world at his feet. He’s just breaking through at one of the best teams around.
“He’s had to bide his time, obviously, with how well Tavernier has been playing. I think this is probably the first opportunity I can think of that he’s got a real opportunity to put pressure on him.
“He’s had to wait a long time as we know. Tavernier is very robust, he’s very rarely injured and he’s going to be out for a number of weeks now.
“It’s a chance for him to go in and really prove to everybody how good a player he is.
“He can really put the Covid stuff to the side because it’s probably been a difficult couple of weeks for him to deal with at such a young age. He understands he’s made a mistake but he’ll want to focus on the pitch.
“The only way you can turn that situation around is by performing on the pitch. That’s where people look at you.
“He’s got a run of games where he can really put down a marker. It’s about showing the manager he can be trusted.”
Tavernier is one of the favourites for the Scottish player of the year award after a remarkable campaign personally and for the team.
The Rangers skipper has made 41 appearances this season, scoring an incredible 17 goals and supplying 15 assists from defence.