Hutton verdict on Tavernier being pushed aside by Patterson at Rangers
Alan Hutton has suggested James Tavernier is still the “top dog” at Rangers despite Nathan Patterson’s emergence.
The former Ibrox defender, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, insisted the 19-year-old would put the senior right-back under serious pressure for his place next season.
Patterson made a series of impressive performances at right-back during Tavernier’s injury absence earlier this season.
However, with the young defender now suspended, the Ibrox captain has regained his place in the starting XI.
He contributed at both ends of the pitch to help the Gers secure a 4-1 win over Celtic last weekend.
Hutton suggested Tavernier’s attacking quality still set him apart from his current understudy.
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However, he insisted watching and training with the 29-year-old could give Patterson the edge in the future.
“You know I’m a big fan of both,” Hutton told Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge.
“Patterson is definitely one for the future, he’s going to learn off Tavernier. That’s the biggest thing from this whole situation. I’ve always said Patterson’s a very good defender.
“Going forward, yes, he’s good but he still needs to learn. I think watching James Tavernier play and what he gives you with deliveries enter the box is literally second to none.
“Take away his goalscoring, which is unbelievable, just look at the delivery he produces. We’re talking about at least 10 times in a game where he puts a dangerous ball in. He’s so pivotal to what Rangers do moving forward.
“I’m glad they tied him down but, the one thing, he will be put under pressure next season. He’s still top dog, it’s there for us all to see. He came in (v Celtic) and showed his class.”
Tavernier has scored 18 goals and contributed 15 assists in 44 appearances this season.
Meanwhile, Patterson has played 14 times for the senior side this term.