Alan Hutton has been left raving after Steven Gerrard revealed Calvin Bassey and Nathan Patterson are genuine contenders for a Rangers starting role ahead of tomorrow’s Hamilton clash.

The former Gers and Scotland international, speaking exclusively to Football Insider assistant editor Russell Edge, has claimed that the young pair offer some much-needed competition to the senior side.

As quoted by the Scottish Sun, Gerrard revealed that he considers Bassey, 20, and Patterson, 19, as genuine rivals to Borna Barisic and James Tavernier for a role in the starting XI.

The right-back and club captain has not missed a single game all season, while the Croatian left-back has been replaced by his promising understudy a handful of times so far.

Hutton has insisted that Rangers have been lacking in squad depth in recent seasons and that it is fantastic that Bassey and Patterson are making a big impression in training at Auchenhowie.

Hutton told Football Insider: “It was interesting, I saw that and I read it and when you look at the Rangers first-team, Tavernier and Barisic are so important to what they do going forward and in defending. 

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“It’s a massive compliment to say that even they are under pressure from Bassey and Patterson, they’re obviously showing a lot in training that they’re ready to step up to the level.

“It makes the players in the team play better and this is what you need, it’s competition for places. It’s that winning mentality, that hunger to win trophies, you need it and if you’re getting pushed along, you’re going to play better.

“The problem with Rangers is in past years, they’ve not had it. Morelos always started, Tavernier always started – you could almost always pick the team and everyone else knew that.

“Now you don’t know who’s going to start from week to week because the competition is high in that first XI. It’s great to see that there are two young boys there desperate to get in that team and play.”

In other Rangers news, ‘Told him he can go, it’s his problem’ – Hutton reacts to Ibrox transfer reveal.