By Noel Whelan

5th Sep, 2021 | 10:00am

Rangers may green light Tavernier exit 'in months' - pundit

Noel Whelan has suggested Rangers may let James Tavernier leave next summer to unleash Nathan Patterson in the starting XI.

The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 19-year-old could learn a lot acting as backup for the Gers captain over the next year.

As reported by the Daily Mail (31st August), Everton launched two bids for the teenager this summer after his impressive rise at Ibrox.

Patterson got a run of games in the starting XI last season after an injury to Tavernier.

However, the teenager has not managed to usurp the English defender from the starting XI.

Whelan admitted now is not the time for Patterson to think about leaving Ibrox.

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He suggested he could even be the number one right-back in 12 months.

Whelan told Football Insider’s Russell Edge: “Nathan Patterson is still learning his trade. Who better to be learning behind than Tavernier?

“I just think sometimes there’s a right time for a young player to leave a football club. Another year will not do him any harm at Rangers.

“Then maybe he’ll be a bit more equipped to come down to England and everything that comes with a transfer when you’re moving away from home.

“Challenging, fighting, getting game time, being in a really successful squad and team, working with the quality players that he is.

“I think it’s a good time to stay right now. Maybe next season.

“But then maybe next season Tavernier’s not there as number one. I think he could leave next year, within months.”

Patterson has played 18 times for Rangers’ senior side so far.

Meanwhile, Tavernier has 295 appearances under his belt for the Glasgow giants.

In other news, pundit suggests Steven Gerrard dazzled by barely-seen Rangers youngster after “sink or swim” week.