Rangers boss gives firm verdict on Nathan Patterson future as English clubs weigh up January bids
Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has made it clear he regards Nathan Patterson as an integral part of his longer-term plans for the Ibrox club.
Scotland right-back Patterson made his first starting appearance for Rangers since van Bronckhorst took charge when he played in the 1-1 Europa League draw against Lyon in France on Thursday.
It was only a fifth club start of the season in total for the 20-year-old who remains second choice for the right-back role behind captain James Tavernier.
Patterson has been linked with a move to the English Premier League with Rangers understood to have rejected a bid of £8 million for him from Everton during the summer transfer window.
It remains to be seen how van Bronckhorst will ensure more regular game time for Patterson with the Scottish champions. But the Dutch coach has outlined his desire to keep Patterson at the club and help him reach his full potential.
“I’m really happy with Nathan,” said van Bronckhorst. “He’s a young player who’s very talented and also an international for Scotland.
“You can see what he brings to the team. In the right-back position, I have two players who can play there and can contribute a lot for this team. His performance on Thursday was really good and I’m really happy with him.
“I’m looking forward to working with him for a longer time so we can develop Nathan to become a better player.
“He gives me a lot of energy and puts a lot into training and games. He wants to learn and that’s very important for a young player. Nathan is definitely a talent.”
Van Bronckhorst has also expressed his satisfaction with the progress of Calvin Bassey who has started all five matches played under his management so far.
Primarily recruited as a left-back when he was signed from Leicester City in the summer of 2020, Bassey has been deployed in central defence with Rangers currently without the injured duo of Filip Helander and Leon Balogun.
Van Bronckhorst has suggested that he sees the 21-year-old’s long term future in that position.
“I haven’t seen him play a lot as a left-back,” said van Bronckhorst. “I’ve seen some footage but, of course, in my five games here he's played as a central defender, so I’m really happy with him.
“He’s got everything a modern defender needs. He’s very quick, he’s good in the air, physically he’s very strong. We’re just working on him on how to build up play but he’s a very good kid.
“Like Nathan, he’s open to learn new things and to be better every game. Those kinds of players will give me a lot of energy to work even harder with them.
“The team is picking up the way I want to play and some principles I want the team to show in every game. They’ve been very open to playing with some new ideas.
“For them, it’s also been refreshing and I think we have a nice atmosphere within the team. We have a very competitive squad with good balance in the team.
“We just need to make sure we’re working hard in training and in every game to get the result we want. That’s what I want to see every game.”
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