Nathan Patterson: Everton close in on deal to sign Rangers right-back

Nathan Patterson made his Rangers debut in January 2020; Everton had two bids rejected in the summer but are now set to sign youngster; right-back earned first Scotland cap last June; Rafa Benitez has already signed Vitaliy Mykolenko at Goodison Park during this window

By Sahil Jaidka

Image: Nathan Patterson has made just six Scottish Premiership appearances for Rangers this season

Nathan Patterson is undergoing a medical at Everton ahead of completing a £16m move from Rangers.

The Scottish Premiership champions had rejected two offers for the right-back in the summer, insisting their valuation had not been met for the academy graduate who made his Gers debut in January 2020.

However, Everton have made a third move for Patterson early in this transfer window which will see Rangers earn a club record initial fee of around £12m, with further add-ons worth £4m.

Patterson, 20, has started in just two of his six Scottish Premiership appearances this season, with captain James Tavernier the club's first-choice right-back.

Patterson set up Rangers' equaliser in a 2-1 win over Hibs in October

He made his Scotland debut last June during a 1-0 win over Luxembourg before scoring his first goal for the national side against Moldova in November.

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Everton's move for Patterson comes after Rafa Benitez's side confirmed the signing of another defender, Vitaliy Mykolenko, from Dynamo Kiev.

Patterson scored his first Scotland goal in a win over Moldova

In October, when asked about Everton's initial interest, Patterson said: "Yes, that was obviously nice to see that teams are interested but I am only interested in playing football.

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"That's the stuff that comes with it and I am not really aware of anything that happens, I just go on the pitch and do my thing and let the outside talk.

Patterson was asked about his Rangers future in October but said he was focusing on his football

"You need to keep your feet grounded and just focus on your football and that's what I have been doing.

"In football, you have media everywhere now, and you have everyone's opinions.

"Sometimes you just need to block that out and focus on yourself, surround yourself with the right people and I feel as if I have done that. I have a good group of friends, good team-mates and family also who keep pushing me on to do well."

The Everton angle: Club investing in potential

Image: Patterson could answer Everton's right-back problems

Sky Sports' Ben Grounds:

2022 has so far been a continuation of the malaise under Rafael Benitez. The home defeat to Brighton taught supporters nothing new as a second-half fightback following another slow start was too little, too late.

New year, same old problems. On the pitch, Everton have been uninspiring but off it, they are making up for lost time.
The signing of Patterson, four days on from confirming the capture of Mykolenko means the club have already forked out around £30m on two full-backs.

Everton have invested in potential.

Image: Patterson celebrates after his shot is tapped in by Lyndon Dykes against Moldova

Mykolenko has signed a four-and-a-half-year contract while Patterson doesn't turn 21 until next October. Both have been signed with a view of becoming mainstays in a defence that has needed tightening.

The right-back position has proven problematic for some time, even before Benitez had his own chance to assess a fractured squad.

During the 2013/14 season under Roberto Martinez, Everton achieved their best Premier League points tally of 72 points with arguably the best full-back pairing in the division: Leighton Baines and Seamus Coleman. But by the time Martinez left in 2016, his successor Ronald Koeman had already sought to provide Coleman with competition by signing Cuco Martina. It didn't work.

Image: Seamus Coleman has made over 350 appearances for Everton

Then after the short-lived Sam Allardyce rescue act at the end of 2017/18, Marco Silva drafted in Djibril Sidibe at the start of his second season in 2019. Again, this was only a temporary fix with the on-loan Monaco right-back failing to secure a permanent move.

Carlo Ancelotti would replace Silva, but the Italian allowed Jonjoe Kenny to go out on loan to Celtic without providing cover for Coleman. Ben Godfrey, Mason Holgate and even Alex Iwobi were trialled in this position. It led to Iwobi taking to social media to vent his frustration over not being played in his preferred position. To compound matters, persistent niggles to Coleman - at 33 - made it clear his minutes needed better management.

The summer transfer window passed with further frustration as Ainsley Maitland-Niles was blocked from joining while another target Denzel Dumfries opted to sign for Inter Milan.

Patterson was by then firmly on Everton's radar but the club have now finally identified and acted on an area of weakness that will go some way to appeasing a disgruntled and divided fanbase.

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