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Rangers: Gio must unleash Patterson

Rangers manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst has won six of his first seven matches in charge of the Ibrox giants and is yet to taste defeat.

The ex-Feyenoord boss came in after the 3-1 loss to Hibernian in the League Cup and has gone on to win all five of his Premiership outings, whilst winning one and drawing one in the group stages of the Europa League.

They now play host to Dundee United in Glasgow as they look to extend that run, having beaten St Johnstone 2-0 in midweek.

Key issue

One change that could be enforced upon the head coach is axing Borna Barisic from the XI. Van Bronckhorst provided an update on the defender after the win on Wednesday, saying:

“He’s okay. He was just not feeling well. He’s not injured.”

Is Barisic the best left-back in Scotland?

Yes

Yes

No

No

Whilst he did not pick up a physical knock during the match, the news that he was feeling unwell is concerning ahead of this weekend. There is no need for the Gers to make him play through poor health, assuming he is still not 100% at the moment, and that means that he could be taken out of the team to give him a rest ahead of Christmas.

Van Bronckhorst could solve this key issue by unleashing the player who replaced him against St Johnstone. He was withdrawn from the match in the 79th minute and right-back Nathan Patterson came on to see out the game in an unnatural position. However, he was quickly able to adapt to his surroundings and won all three of his ground duels during his cameo, whilst completing 89% of his passes and making three tackles.

Celtic midfielder Callum McGregor previously lauded the young defender whilst on international duty with him for Scotland, saying:

“He’s been absolutely first class. You can tell he’s a real talent – even from the first day he trained with us in the summer.

“You could see his quality, his athleticism. And it’s great to see him make such a big impact, getting off the mark with a goal. He needs to just keep his head down and keep working hard. Other experienced boys will keep him on the right track, keep him honest.”

Patterson, who Che Adams once dubbed as “amazing”, scored and provided an assist in his last outing for Scotland as they beat Moldova 2-0 in a World Cup Qualifier. He also has one assist in five Premiership appearances, having started once, this season – showing off the attacking threat he can provide from full-back.

The £4.9k-per-week gem could, therefore, be an ideal choice to come in and replace Barisic at left-back for a game if he is not well enough to start. He showed great promise with his cameo in the week and he has proven his quality at right-back in his aforementioned games for club and country, which is why van Bronckhorst must unleash him this weekend.

AND in other news, 86% duels won: Rangers beast who made 5 tackles vs St Johnstone surely had Gio purring…

Article title: Rangers: Gio must unleash Patterson

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