MATT POLSTER has backed Nathan Patterson to go kick-on from his breakthrough season at Rangers and provide sustained competition to James Tavernier next term.

Patterson has come to the fore in the second half of the campaign after being asked to deputise for Tavernier at right-back following the injury he sustained in February.

His fine form saw him nominated for the SFWA Young Player of the Year prize and tipped for a place in the Scotland squad for the European Championships this summer.

HeraldScotland: Nathan Patterson celebrates against Antwerp

Polster witnessed the 19-year-old emerge through the ranks at Auchenhowie during his time with Steven Gerrard's side and the American has no doubt that Patterson can continue to go from strength to strength next season.

Polster told Herald and Times Sport: "I was training with him quite a bit and he is a player with a lot of talent and he has shown this season that he has done really, really well.

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"He stepped into that role when Tav was injured and took on that responsibility. He has done really well and he has proven to the group that he can play at that level.

"He is a young boy so I am sure he will be able to keep improving on that and he has got a pretty level head as well so I can only see him going further.

"Injuries can happen in football, but Tav literally never got injured when I was there so it was very tough to ever get a chance. It was difficult.

"When he was out, I thought in those moments I did well but it was never really long enough to implement myself within the group on a consistent basis.

"Nathan has done incredibly well, he has come in immediately when Tav was out and proved himself that he can play at that level.

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"He has a really level head, he is committed and he wants to push himself. I know he can compete and fight for that position.

"He is determined and I could tell that from training with him when he was with us.

"He wanted to push himself, he wanted to be part of the group and to prove himself and fight for that position.

"Now that he has that opportunity, he has shown in every game that he can play at this level and in big matches like the Old Firm."