Noel Whelan insists Rangers defender Nathan Patterson can kick on next season as he learns from seasoned professionals while away with Scotland.
The former Aberdeen hitman, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claims the defender will be more mature as a result of his experiences this summer.
Patterson, 19, made his senior Scotland debut during Sunday night’s game against Luxembourg and will be part of his country’s Euro 2020 squad.
🏴 Massive congratulations to Academy graduate Nathan Patterson on making his debut at international level for the @ScotlandNT at age 19.
👏 A massive achievement for a young player who had been in Rangers Academy since the young age of 8. pic.twitter.com/FjSFTHdjBu
— Rangers Youth Academy (@RFC_Youth) June 6, 2021
The Gers youngster was a second-half substitute as Steve Clarke’s side earned a 1-0 win in their final fixture before the tournament.
Patterson missed the chance to make his debut a few days earlier as he couldn’t travel for another friendly.
He was identified as a close contact of John Fleck after he tested positive for coronavirus.
The defender only made his Rangers debut during the recently concluded season and he immediately impressed.
When asked if being away with Scotland can help Patterson to kick on again next season, Whelan told Football Insider correspondent Dylan Childs, “Oh yeah, absolutely.
“When you’ve got a player like that, who’s involved with an international set up. He’s around the players who are already doing great things.
“There’s no doubt that players will improve themselves and learn a lot. It’s a different level.
“A different training regime. When you play with some of those players you learn a lot from just being around them.
“You mature as well. You have to in that environment. There won’t be any messing about.
“He’ll learn a lot about himself and he will improve his game. The pressure is a lot different.”
Patterson bagged two goals for the Gers during his breakthrough season.
His first came just moments after coming off the bench in his side’s clash with Royal Antwerp at Ibrox.