Rangers teenager Nathan Patterson is “totally fearless” and destined for the very top.
That is the verdict of ex-Aberdeen and Leeds United striker Noel Whelan, speaking exclusively to Football Insider about the rising-star defender.
Graeme Murty, the former first-team boss who now manages the development side at Ibrox, claimed at the weekend that Patterson, 18, has “all the characteristics you would ascribe to an elite-level full-back.”
Whelan has been impressed by the glimpses he’s had of the young right-back as well as his boundless self-belief.
“I can see him challenging James Tavernier for a first-team spot, if not this season then next season,” Whelan told Football Insider. “Nathan Patterson is a young lad but he’s totally fearless.
“I saw an interview with him in which he says he wants the captain’s spot. I just love to see it, that kind of attitude and self-belief. This lad’s destined for the top.
“That shows tremendous courage from the young lad and should also help to keep Tavernier on his toes.
“He’s barely been challenged for his position in the last four years and that’s not good. Footballers, even top ones, play better if they have someone challenging them.”
Patterson has yet to make his Rangers senior bow but he is being spoken of as one of the best of the new crop of Ibrox emerging stars.
The club have struggled to produce players from their academy in the last decade, although Billy Gilmour is making waves at Chelsea since leaving in his mid-teens.