Lewis Mayo hopes to emulate progress of Rangers teammate Nathan Patterson
Rangers defender Lewis Mayo is being inspired by the performances of fellow academy graduate Nathan Patterson for both club and country.
Mayo, 21, is currently on loan with Scottish Championship outfit Partick Thistle but is on international duty with Scotland under-21s as they look to kick off their Euros qualifiers.
The Light Blues man has been a regular for promotion-chasing Partick, and is keen to emulate the growth of 19-year-old Patterson for the senior national side and Steven Gerrard’s men.
Mayo said (via Daily Record): “The exciting thing is there is a clear pathway – and it’s not just Nathan.
“There are several players who have been in the Under-21s team but are now around the full team. And they will tell you that their experiences in the Under-21s team helped them get there.
“Nathan is a great talent. He’s taken his chance and projected upwards so quickly. We came right through Rangers’ academy and he’s younger than me, so I’ve known him for a long time. I’m delighted to see him take his chance.
“Rangers have been really good in terms of liaising with me on loan and keeping contact. I was lucky to get some experience in pre-season but it was best for me to get experience on loan and exposure towards first-team football in a competitive league.”
The teenager was in fine form for Steve Clarke’s side against Moldova on Saturday night, playing a huge role in the hard-fought 1-0 win in the World Cup qualifiers.
It was Patterson’s first start for country, but he played like an experienced pro and showed exactly why he attracted interest from Premier League side Everton during the closing weeks of the summer transfer window.
Rangers knocked back their bids, but more suitors will surely keep emerging for his signature if he keeps performing like he did against Moldova.
Scotland under-21s face their Turkey counterparts on Tuesday, and Mayo has enough inspiration to draw from in his side’s bid to qualify.
He was part of the squad that fell short of qualifying for their first Euro Finals in 25 years during the last campaign, and he will be eager to right that wrong this time around.
Not many Rangers academy graduates can be like Patterson and hit the ground running in their teenage years.
Some have to go through several loan spells before coming back to establish themselves in the first-team, and Mayo is going through the route and hoping to become a regular for club and country at senior level going forward.
In other Rangers news, Bears ace details why he didn’t leave Ibrox this summer despite interests.