CHARLIE Adam took a somewhat circuitous route into the Rangers first team; he had lengthy stop-offs in Dingwall and Paisley before finally establishing himself as a player in Govan.

The loan spells that Adam spent at first Ross County and then St Mirren in the Championship proved invaluable to the midfielder and helped to propel him to the very top of the game.

Yet, the former Blackpool, Liverpool, Stoke City, Reading and Scotland man believes that Nathan Patterson is on the right track at Ibrox and can fulfil his enormous potential by remaining where he is.

Glasgow Times:

Patterson made his first appearance for the Scottish champions in nearly a month on Wednesday evening when he started in the Premier Sports Cup quarter-final against Livingston.

The right back, who helped Scottish champions record a comfortable 2-0 home win, had been sidelined with an ankle injury since playing for the national team in their Qatar 2022 qualifier against Moldova at Hampden earlier this month.

However, the lack of game time the 19-year-old has had in the 2021/22 campaign – he has only featured in four matches in the past two months – has led to suggestions that he would be benefit from going out on loan.

Adam, now back playing in the cinch Premiership with his home town team Dundee, is a huge admirer of the defender and believes that he is destined for great things in the years to come.

But he is confident that Patterson can progress and mature by continuing to working with Steven Gerrard and his squad and has no need to go elsewhere.

Glasgow Times:

“I think he is the next top player who is going to come out of the SFA youth system,” he said. “Billy (Gilmour) has come through and has rightly received a lot of praise. I think Nathan will be the next one. 

“I don’t want to put too much pressure on him, but I think he is a very good player and is going to be a top right back. He reminds of Alan Hutton when he was growing up. He has got everything. He has got all of the attributes. He has got speed, he has got a physical presence, he can get forward, he has got a good delivery.

“Because he is so quick, he will find himself in the penalty box a lot and will get into positions to shoot. You saw that in the Scotland game against Moldova when he helped to set up the winning goal.

“He is a player I like to watch. I was pushing for him to be given an opportunity at Euro 2020. Hopefully he will be able to hold down the right back place in the national team. We should relish having these quality players in our squad.”

Glasgow Times:

Adam continued: “But he is still young and is still learning the game. He hasn’t even played 20 games for Rangers yet. He has still got a lot to learn. He will know that.

“He has got a good manager and good coaching staff at Rangers who work with him every day and help him develop. He will get games there because his club play so many games domestically and in Europe.

“He will get opportunities. When he comes in he has to take the opportunity and put the pressure back on the manager to pick him. He has got a big future ahead of him.”

Adam learned all about how to play at senior level during his stints at County and St Mirren. He played in the Challenge Cup final with the former and won the Championship with the latter. However, he sees no reason for Patterson to go elsewhere.

“It is totally different because I wasn’t playing in the first team every day,” he said. “But Nathan is. I wasn’t getting tested every day against the best players in the football club. Nathan is. He is getting tested by Kent, Defoe, Morelos.

“He is having to learn how to deal with Morelos backing into him. He is having to deal with different things every day. I was still training with the under-19 and the reserve team when I went out on loan. Nathan is part of the first team squad. 

“He got a chance to play in Europe last season and did brilliantly. He won’t get that experience if he goes out on loan. He is also learning how to deal with the pressure of playing in front of 50,000 at Ibrox. That is only going to stand him in good stead going forward. 

“There is no point in him going to a club in Scotland on loan because he is far too good for that level. He has just got to keep his head down, work hard and wait for his opportunity at Rangers.

“He will get matches and push on. Football is far more of a squad game than it was back in the day. You have 22 or 23 players who are all capable of performing at the top level to choose from now.”

Glasgow Times:

Rangers rejected multi-million pound bids for Patterson from Everton in the summer. Adam reckons he is more than capable of moving on to play in a bigger league at some point in future. But he has urged him to focus on doing well at Ibrox for the time being.   

“A Premier League club in England made a bid for Nathan in the last window,” he said. “That shows you they think he is a good player with the potential to play at the top division down south.

“Rangers will sell if they get the right price, if a big money offer comes in. But the board are standing strong at the moment and are not selling, which is commendable. They want to push on in the Europa League and win the Premiership again because it guarantees them a place in the Champions League.

“You are always going to attract interest in your best players and the form that Nathan has shown in his short career has generated that. He is 19, athletic and a right back. There is always going to be interest in that kind of player. But the deal has to be right for the player and the club.

“As I said, at some point, he will force his way into the first team at Rangers. His problem is he is fighting for a start with the club captain, James Tavernier, which is always difficult. He just has to bide his time.”