By Nick Ware

11th Apr, 2021 | 7:50pm

Michael Stewart: Rangers must loan out Nathan Patterson after James Tavernier update

Michael Stewart claims Rangers must offload Nathan Patterson on loan after the club clinched the contract extension of James Tavernier.

The club announced earlier this week that the club captain had signed a new deal until 2024 [official Rangers website] but the BBC pundit thinks that spells bad news for Patterson.

Speaking on BBC Sportsound [14:00, 11/04/21] Stewart says the decision to award Tavernier a new deal could come back to bite the Light Blues.

He said: “My concern for Nathan Patterson is that Tavernier is going to start, he’s the captain and he’s signed a new deal and it’s how can you maintain that progress, because sitting on that bench next year isn’t going to do him any favours.

“The flip side is if you sell Tavernier you’re making a lot of money, and you’re getting a youth player through the system that potentially you can sell in five, six, seven years for a lot of money as well. So what is right and what is wrong, what is more profitable and what isn’t.

“There is a good argument to be made for either of them but my concern is we talk about Tavernier signing up and competition for placed and everything like that, but we all know James Tavernier is going to be starting and the imminent issue is if Nathan Patterson plays five or six games his career has stunted and that could be a terminal issue for his career.

“Next year, if Tavernier is starting the season, Rangers have got to organise for Nathan Patterson to go out on loan, for me, for a full season, because he can’t hang around and play five or six games.”

Competition is crucial

Steven Gerrard certainly has a selection headache next season but with Champions League football in the offing, this is exactly what should be happening.

Why can’t we have two quality players for each position? As we’ve seen this season, options are crucial and a lack of them can cost us.

Tavernier has been absent since picking up an injury in the 4-3 win over Royal Antwerp on February 18 and Patterson has deputised admirably.

Leon Balogun was initially trialled in the position but he has struggled to deal with the pace of wingers at times, as we witnessed in the second-leg against the Belgian side, where Patterson was required from the bench and he scored within minutes of his introduction.

At 19, he is still in the early phases of his career and we don’t think it would be ‘terminal’ at all if he carries on as understudy to Tavernier for the next season or so.

Indeed, if the youngster has any ambition, he will back himself to supersede the Gers talisman and that can only be good news for the club.

In other Rangers news, see our exclusive interview with Alex McLeish to see which Gers duo he thinks have ‘pumped up’ Alfredo Morelos.