Report: Rangers are preparing Nathan Patterson as James Tavernier’s direct competitor for the start of next season

According to The Athletic’s Jordan Campbell, Nathan Patterson is being primed as James Tavernier’s direct competitor for the start of next season.

While manager Steven Gerrard is now able to name a strong regular starter and an able deputy in each of the 11 positions on the pitch, the Rangers skipper is one player who has been without a recognisable challenger thus far.

The 28-year-old right-back has featured in all 12 Premiership games, 11 Europa League games and two League Cup games this term, and could do with a quality cover and competition going forward.

While Patterson has only regularly trained with the first-team and is a key player for Graeme Murty’s Rangers Colts, the club reckons he has what it takes to succeed Tavernier in the position and become a long-term option.

The contract of the 18-year-old runs out in the summer, but talks over a new deal are ongoing with English Premier League clubs monitoring the situation.

Murty has already claimed Patterson “has all of the characteristics you would ascribe with an elite level full-back,” and he also believes “he has got the technique, a level of subtlety and disguise that is generally lacking in younger players.”

The player himself has revealed his desire to start challenging the Rangers skipper as soon as possible, and given how swift his development has gone since the beginning of the campaign, it shouldn’t come as a surprise if the teenager starts featuring for Gerrard’s side next season.

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Report: Rangers are moving closer to agreeing a deal to keep Nathan Patterson at Ibrox