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Nathan Patterson: Everton sign right-back from Rangers in £16m deal

Nathan Patterson made his Rangers debut in January 2020; Everton had two bids rejected in the summer but have signed a five-and-a-half-year deal; right-back earned first Scotland cap last June; Rafa Benitez has already signed Vitaliy Mykolenko at Goodison Park during this window

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Nathan Patterson says he wanted to come to Everton 'from the very start', following his transfer from Rangers

Nathan Patterson has completed his move from Rangers to Everton in a deal worth £16m.

The right-back has signed a five-and-a-half-year contract at Goodison Park and becomes the club's second signing of the January transfer window following defender Vitaliy Mykolenko's arrival from Dynamo Kiev.

Rangers had rejected two bids from Everton in the summer, insisting their valuation had not been met for the academy graduate who made his Gers debut in January 2020.

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

"I'm over the moon to sign for Everton and looking forward to getting started," Patterson told evertontv.

"It was an easy choice to sign. This is a massive club with huge history and the fanbase is tremendous. Obviously we aren't in the place where we want to be right now but we can definitely get there with the talent in the changing room and staff here, and I have full belief we can do that.

"It is really exciting to come to a club that has huge talent in the team. I am going to work my socks off and hopefully I can do well with them in training and in games.

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"It was also great for me knowing the manager really wanted me here and that made my decision. When a club really wants you, it makes your mind up early on.

"I wanted to come here from the very start. I'm delighted to be here and really looking forward to playing in front of the fans at Goodison.

"Long-term, I want to nail down a starting position and win some trophies to make the fans proud."

Patterson - who will wear the number three jersey at Everton - had started in just two of his six Scottish Premiership appearances this season, with captain James Tavernier the Rangers' first-choice right-back.

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.

Moore: Patterson a really good investment

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Former Rangers defender Craig Moore believes Nathan Patterson is ready to impress for Everton. The 20-year-old has agreed a five-and-a-half-year deal at Goodison

Former Rangers defender Craig Moore told Sky Sports:

"Nathan was struggling to get his starts with Tavernier playing in his position. Giovanni van Bronckhorst has been trying to get him into the team, played him as a left full-back, it didn't work and he's a senior international player now.

"I think for the amount of money that they're talking about, potentially going up to £16m, I think it's the right move for both parties. Nathan has done extremely well, showed great promise and think everybody would understand he just wants to play football.

"At the moment the risk is Everton's. Rangers getting that type of money in in fantastic business. Everton have the risk of the player hitting that potential but, for me, he's the type of player who can play and do well in England then you're talking £40-50m.

"I think it's a really good investment for Everton. You'll need to be patient as he's a younger boy but as we've seen he's desperate to play football and, more importantly, he's ready."

What are Everton getting?

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Patterson scored his first goal for Scotland in a 2-0 win over Moldova

Sky Sports' Sahil Jaidka:

Some Blues fans might question why the club have splashed out on a 20-year-old who has started just two Scottish Premiership games this season. The answer - potential.

When Everton came calling for Patterson in the summer, the then Rangers manager Steven Gerrard labelled an initial offer of £5m as a "joke" - a sign of how highly the right-back is rated.

Since graduating from the Ibrox academy and making his Gers debut in January 2020, Patterson has gone on to break into the Scotland set-up too where he has earned six caps - and praise from head coach Steve Clarke.

He has developed into a fearless, fast, ball-carrying full-back who is dangerous in attack and has occasionally been used by Giovanni van Bronckhorst as a winger or at left-back.

Standing at over 6ft the youngster is strong in the air too and not afraid of putting in a tackle - a trait that saw him become a fans favourite at Ibrox.

Over the past 12 months, Patterson has also shown he has an eye for goal after scoring against Royal Antwerp, Cove Rangers and for Scotland against Moldova.

Asked what Evertonians can expect from him, Patterson said: "Athleticism, desire and strong challenges, along with good forward play. I am an attacking full-back. I love getting forward and creating chances to benefit the team. I can't wait for it."

For what he lacks in experience, Patterson has shown he makes up for that in ability.

Why does he not start for Rangers?

POZNAN, POLAND - DECEMBER 10:  Rangers Nathan Patterson and James Tavernier pre-match during the UEFA Europa League group stage match between Lech Poznan and Rangers at the Poznan Stadium on December 10, 2020, in Poznan, Scotland.  (Photo by Adam Nurkiewicz / SNS Group)
Image: Tavernier (right) has been Rangers' first choice right-back

Patterson would undoubtedly have more Rangers appearances to his name, were it not for captain James Tavernier's brilliance.

The 30-year-old has been a standout for the Scottish Premiership champions at right-back, missing just two league games this season after a Covid outbreak and has impressed at both ends of the park.

Tavernier has scored four Premiership goals so far this season, a third of what he achieved last campaign and has already bettered the number of assists.

It was a near-impossible task to replace Rangers' captain but the fact van Bronckhorst has tried to play Patterson in other areas shows how highly the Scotland international is regarded.

Why are Rangers selling him?

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Patterson set up Kemar Roofe as Rangers beat Hibernian in the Scottish Premiership

Ibrox managing director Stewart Robertson recently said the club were on the cusp of financial stability with Rangers' player-trading model key for the future.

While there was no need to sell any players in this window, despite posting a £23.5m operating loss last season, cashing in on an asset like Patterson for a club-record fee makes sense.

Rangers have rejected previous bids for Patterson while interest in Alfredo Morelos and Ryan Kent has also been rebuffed with the club only entertaining offers that meet their valuation.

With Joe Aribo and Glen Kamara also catching the eye of other clubs, arguably Patterson's departure is the least damaging to Rangers' starting XI as they aim to retain their title which could bring with it a potential £40m Champions League windfall.

Everton investing in potential

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

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.

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.

Scotland's Nathan Patterson celebrates after his shot is tapped in by Lyndon Dykes against Moldova
Image: Patterson celebrates after his shot is tapped in by Lyndon Dykes against Moldova

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 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.

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.

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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.

On linking up with manager Benitez and Everton's long-serving right-back and captain Coleman, Patterson added: "I'm really looking forward to working under the manager and with my teammates. I have met most of them already and everyone has made me feel so welcome.

"I've had a good conversation with Seamus. I am really looking forward to learning from him and working together.

"That is why I am here: to learn and get better as a player and, hopefully, win things and do well for the club. If I am working alongside Seamus that is definitely going to happen."

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