Rangers full back Nathan Patterson has signed a new long-term deal with the club.
By Kieran Warren
The 19-year-old is already an important part of Steven Gerrard’s first team squad making four appearances, including a start in the Europa League against Lech Poznan, and being included amongst the substitutes almost every week.
Speaking on the club website, the Rangers boss had this to say about the academy graduate:
“We have monitored Nathan’s progress closely over the past 18 months. His attitude is second to none, and I am particularly pleased with his desire to learn from his team mates especially our captain, James Tavernier.
“Ross [Wilson] and I have discussed our plan with Nathan for the incoming 18 months and have made our expectations clear. Nathan is a strong example of our player pathway for those who are training with the first-team and in our Academy.”
Tavernier has helped aid Patterson’s development (Instagram: @jamestavernier2)
Sporting Director, Ross Wilson, added:
“We are delighted with Nathan’s development. He is training really well, working diligently and showing strong progress.
“Aside from his technical and tactical work he has made significant physical gains working with our sports science performance staff. He’s made a strong impression on Steven and the staff in training and when he’s played in the team.
“Aside from our staff and his family who support him brilliantly, James Tavernier is another strong and positive influence on Nathan. When he signed a new contract last December I was clear to him and his family that if he outgrew that contract we would reward him further.
“I am delighted we are doing that in this contract extension which is another positive move in our club.”
In today’s press conference Gerrard sent a message to other academy players who have hopes of following in the young full back’s footsteps:
“We want to have local Academy players who step up and I want that more than anyone, so the ball is in their court if they sacrifice enough and show they are good enough and willing to work hard enough to be in the first team.”
Patterson took the opportunity in this morning’s presser to praise the Ibrox club’s youth setup:
“I’m a Rangers fan from birth and I’m a local boy so getting all the way through to the first-team is really good we have that pathway. It shows all the youth boys if you keep working hard you can get to your end goal.
“I’ve always benefited from playing in our youth sides as they integrate what the first-team do with the youth, so it is more natural if you go around to the first-team and I think that has benefited me a lot”