COLIN Stein believes Nathan Patterson has come of age this season and can no longer be described as an exciting prospect - after watching the Rangers youngster come on and set up Scotland’s late winner against the Faroe Islands.

Patterson was left out of Steve Clarke’s starting line-up in the Qatar 2022 qualifier in Torhsavn on Tuesday night despite performing well in the second-half of the 3-2 triumph over Israel at Hampden on Saturday evening.

Clarke selected Ryan Fraser of Newcastle United at right wing back in the hope the visitors would enjoy the majority of possession and the former Aberdeen and Bournemouth man could get upfield and do some damage in the final third.

But Andy Robertson and his team mates struggled badly against rivals who are in 114th place in the FIFA World Rankings and had goalkeeper Craig Gordon, who produced a superb save in the first-half, to thank for keeping them level.

Scotland performed much better on the artificial pitch in Torsvollur in the second-half and created a number of scoring opportunities - but they only edged in front after Patterson replaced Fraser with seven minutes remaining.

The 19-year-old defender whipped a cross into the Faroes six yard box in the 86th minute and Lyndon Dykes chested an attempted clearance by Horour Ashkam beyond Teitur Gestsson and into the net from a few yards out.

Rangers and Scotland great Stein, who watched the match on television, feels the Glasgow-born youngster who provided the assist is now a potent weapon for both his club and country and can no longer be considered a player with potential.

“Nathan is a good player, a very good player,” he said. “People describe him as a good prospect, but he is a good player just now. He is quick, has got a lot of ability, crosses the ball well and gets himself in good positions. He does his job well.”

The Barcelona Bear still attends every Ibrox home match and is looking forward to seeing who Rangers manager Steven Gerrard prefers in the right back berth against Hearts in a cinch Premiership match in Govan this weekend – Patterson or club captain James Tavernier.

Many fans feel that Tavernier, who was named PFA Scotland Players’ Player of the Year at the end of the 2020/21 campaign after leading the Glasgow club to the Scottish title, has not been at his best this season and would like to see the teenager given a run.

Gerrard gave Patterson the nod for the league game against Hibernian at Ibrox before the international break and the right back justified his selection by helping the defending champions to come from behind and win 2-1.

“Tavernier does a great job as well and is a big player for Rangers,” said Stein. “It is a nice problem for the manager to have. Patterson and Tavernier are two class players. It is a selection headache for Steven Gerrard, but he is there to make decisions.

“I do the hospitality at Ibrox along with and go to every home game. Willie Henderson, Willie Johnston and Alex MacDonald, who all played in my era, do it as well. It is nice to be remembered by the fans so long after I played. The older ones anyway!

“I am looking forward to the big top-of-the-table clash against Hearts this weekend and it will be interesting to see whether Patterson or Tavernier plays.”