By Doug Ward

14th Oct, 2021 | 11:10am

Patterson could start for Rangers in vital clash v Hearts - Charlie Adam

Charlie Adam claims Nathan Patterson may be in line to start for Rangers when they welcome Hearts to Ibrox on Saturday afternoon.

Patterson, 19, has played just once in the Scottish Premiership this season despite playing superbly well throughout most of 2021.

On Tuesday night, he came off the bench to assist Scotland’s winner against the Faroe Islands despite starting against Israel at the weekend.

BBC Scotland pundit Adam, who played for the Light Blues between 2003 and 2009, feels Steven Gerrard may have told Steve Clarke to reduce Patteson’s minutes while on international duty due to club commitments.

“He’s doing alright, isn’t he? I’ve banged the drum for him for a long time and he’s the best right-back we’ve got,” said Adam on PLZ Soccer’s YouTube account on Wednesday.

“[Ryan] Fraser struggled at times last night but we don’t know what Steven [Gerrard] has said to Steve [Clarke] about playing two games in the week.

“I don’t know, I’m just saying he’s probably not played enough to play Saturday, Tuesday and then against Hearts at the weekend.

“Gerrard’s just trying to protect him a little bit.

“His quality shone again and did what you want from a sub. For me, he’s the number one right-back now.”

Rare start likely?

Gerrard has overlooked Patterson far too many times for our liking this season.

In the last few weeks, the young right-back has shown what a threat he can be going forwards with assists against both Hibernian for the Gers and against the Faroe Islands with Scotland.

Patterson’s cross into Lyndon Dykes was stunning. Without him coming off the bench in Torshavn, we’d have drawn that World Cup qualifier.

It’s about time Patterson becomes the starting number one for Scotland on a full-time basis while we’d also be thrilled if he played more for the Gers.

James Tavernier was an unused substitute in our final game before the international break as Patterson played all 90 minutes of the win over Hibs.

Gerrard may not want to oversee his captain for two league matches in a row but based on form, it’s clear that Patterson is doing far better and has the momentum right now.

In other Rangers news, a £20million move to England has been mooted for this Ibrox ace in January.