Barry Ferguson stands by Nathan Patterson as Rangers ace wins Euro call-up

Barry Ferguson has been waxing lyrical about Nathan Patterson after the young Rangers right-back won a call-up to the Scotland squad for the European Championships this summer.

Earlier this week, Steve Clarke’s squad was confirmed and Patterson, 19, is among three uncapped players to be included.

Chelsea’s Billy Gilmour, who came through the youth ranks at Ibrox, and Celtic’s David Turnbull are the other two young players to be named in the squad and Rangers legend Ferguson refuses to agree they’re too young for a call-up.

Writing for the Daily Record, Ferguson said: “I remember being told I was too young, too skinny and too small when I first broke into Dick Advocaat’s Rangers team. The exact same things were said when I got my first call up for the national side.

“Now I’m hearing the same people say the same sort of things about Gilmour, Nathan Patterson and David Turnbull, ‘Oh wait the now, they’re a bit too young!’”

Ferguson added: “Patterson? We’ve known this lad was coming through the ranks for some time and there was a lot of excitement around Rangers over his potential to make an impact in the first team.

“He had to wait for his chance but when James Tavernier picked up an injury the boy came in and took to it like a duck to water.

“For me, the acid test for any youngster at Ibrox is how he deals with his first Old Firm game. He came through his with flying colours.

“When I watch the way he gets up and down that right flank he reminds me of a young Alan Hutton and I’d go as far as to say Tavernier will be looking over his shoulder at this kid and worrying about his own position. That’s the biggest compliment I can pay young Patterson. He’s already breathing down the captain’s neck.”

Rising star

Patterson has been a sensation for the Light Blues this season.

Yes, he had that issue when he was found breaking COVID protocol but he has bounced back from it amazingly and really taken advantage of Tavernier’s injury.

It’s always going to be tough for Patterson to break into Steven Gerrard’s squad when the player he’s competing with is the captain and top goalscorer but the 19-year-old has given the manager some food for thought going into next season.

Patterson ended this season with 14 appearances in all competitions and he even managed to get on the scoresheet twice. Who can forget his stunning goal against Royal Antwerp in the Europa League?

There’s no denying he’s a great young talent and while we don’t expect him to get much, if any, game-time for Scotland in the European Championships this summer, him just being in the squad is massive.

He’ll no doubt learn a lot about international football and what it’s like playing at a major tournament – something which Scotland players won’t be familiar with.

He’ll also get to work with a good coach in Clarke, who’ll no doubt help improve the young right-back.

Patterson’s call-up is massive for Rangers too – as is Gilmour’s – because it increases the appeal of our academy and potentially increases the value of the Ibrox right-back.

There’s no negative slant on this at all.

In other Rangers news, the Gers have made a move to sign this dazzling attacker in the summer.