By Nick Ware

20th Jun, 2021 | 8:10am

Kris Boyd makes exciting Nathan Patterson suggestion as Rangers defender eyes Euros debut

Kris Boyd has suggested that Rangers defender Nathan Patterson could be set for a huge future as he bids to make his international tournament debut.

The 19-year-old full-back is currently on national team duty with Scotland as they gear up for a make-or-break- final fixture of their Group D European Championship campaign.

Scotland need to beat Croatia on Tuesday in order to progress to the knockout stages of Euro 2020, but ex-Rangers striker Boyd believes the likes of Patterson will have learnt a considerable amount already, and has suggested some playing time would boost that even further.

“There’s the World Cup in Qatar in just 18 months,” he wrote on the Scottish Sun website. “The next Euros are just three years away in Germany.

“Imagine what Billy Gilmour could be like in another three years. Or Nathan Patterson. Or David Turnbull.

“Indeed, the bulk of Clarke’s squad will be much better for the experience of playing at a major finals.

“I understand the doom and gloom after the defeat to the Czechs. I understand the delight after the display at Wembley.

“But regardless of what happens against Croatia, these lads must aspire to get back to this elite level on a regular basis.”

Primed to play a big role v Croatia?

Patterson is yet to get onto the pitch at Euro 2020 yet, but he has been named on the bench for both of Scotland’s games so far, ousting out three other players.

Given he was barely-used by Rangers before February last season, that’s no mean feat.

His rapid rise came about after an injury to talismanic Gers figure James Tavernier, whose absence created a void that was firmly filled by Patterson, and he finished the season with 14 appearances and two goals for the Gers.

While Steve Clarke is yet to throw the teenager into the action at the Euros, we think his talents could see him handed some minutes in Tuesday’s showdown with Croatia at Hampden Park.

Motherwell defender Stephen O’Donnell battled back from a poor display against Czech Republic to star against England at Wembley on Friday, and that will likely see him earn a third successive start, but Patterson could find himself in the position of super sub.

If Scotland need a goal to progress, Clarke could well turn to the more attacking talents of Patterson to initiate attacks down the right-hand side, and that experience on the biggest stage can only benefit Rangers, as alluded to by Boyd.

In other Rangers news, a pundit has predicted some big Light Blues deals as Ally McCoist issues a major warning to Celtic.