Nathan Patterson has been handed a Scotland call-up for the European Championship “on merit”, according to Rangers sporting director Ross Wilson.
The 19-year-old Gers defender has been named in Steve Clarke’s 26-man squad for this summer’s finals despite having registered just 16 first-team run outs.
Seven of those appearances and have come off the bench but Clarke appears to have no issue with his lack of experience after backing Gers boss Steven Gerrard’s assessment of Patterson’s stellar potential.
But the news has not gone down well with St Johnstone fans, who saw their Betfred Cup final hero Shaun Rooney miss out on a maiden call after an impressive season despite having chalked up almost 250 career appearances.
Light Blues chief Wilson, however, has no doubt the 19-year-old will prove his worth to the national team next month.
Wilson told RangersTV: “We are delighted that Nathan has been called up.
“Obviously there has been a bit of speculation about how Steve Clarke will treat the additional places that he had in the squad. There has been a few injuries as well.
“We think Nathan is there on merit. There’s no question of that in our mind.
“I think everybody can see just how high-potential Nathan is when he has played for Rangers already.
“We’re delighted for him, we’re proud of him. I know his family will be overjoyed with this as well.
“Steven spoke to him (on Wednesday) morning to give him the news. I think he was just out of bed, mind you. But hopefully it has sunk in.
“I know how proud his mum and dad will be and I’m delighted for Nathan too.”
Rangers’ back-up goalkeeper Jon McLaughlin will also join up with Clarke’s group.
McLaughlin was number two to SPFL player of the year Allan McGregor but still posted 12 clean sheets in 14 appearances during Gers’ triumphant march to the Premiership title.
He will head to Euro 2020 as cover for David Marshall and Craig Gordon but Wilson insists the national team will be in safe hands if McLaughlin is called on for duty.
“We’re absolutely delighted,” he added. “Jon’s place, for us anyway, was absolutely clear.
“He’s a top goalkeeper and will do the national team proud any time the Jon is called upon, as he has done for Rangers as well.
“He’s been fantastic in all of his appearances here.”
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