BBC pundit certain Everton defender Nathan Patterson will take off in 2022/23 season
Everton made a “really good decision” to sign Nathan Patterson in the January transfer window who is ready to replace Seamus Coleman, says Pat Nevin.
The young Scot came in from Rangers for £16million in the dying days of the Rafa Benitez rein, but only featured for 45 minutes in the FA Cup win over fifth-tier Boreham Wood under Frank Lampard.
An ankle injury subsequently ended his season before the club could get any benefit from him, but BBC pundit Nevin believes he was a victim of circumstance as the Toffees battled relegation.
The ex-Toffee told Boyle Sports for Football Scotland: “I was calling it on the radio, Frank needed to change the system. Then he did and because of the system change the guy who had to go off was Nathan.
“But Everton fans shouldn’t worry about it, Nathan’s the real deal. It’s not about anything other than he had an injury, that happens sometimes.
“The team was struggling, I would say to Everton fans, ‘that’s not one to worry about.’
“Coleman was phenomenal in that position for a long time, but it’s coming to that time where he will need replacing and they have made a really good decision in signing Nathan.”
He also tipped the 20-year-old to emulate illustrious Premier League counterparts as the full-back position becomes ever-more prominent, saying: “Look at Liverpool, Trent [Alexander-Arnold] and [Andy] Robertson on either side, look at the number of goals they create.
“Chelsea are the same with [Ben] Chilwell and [Reece] James. These positions are vital in the modern game. It’s an important scoring position now.
“And Nathan is one, that’s his style.”
If Patterson can benefit from a proper pre-season to get up to full fitness and show the manager what he can do then the team could be due a major boost, judging by Nevin’s assessment.
Assuming Lampard is able to conduct some of the summer business needed to in order to shape the squad to his liking then he should able to implement a system he wants rather than being forced to simplify it.
If that leads to a prominent role for the signing from Ibrox, and he can come close to providing a similar level of output to the four Anfield and Stamford Bridge men, it would help significantly to avoid another relegation battle.
Captain Coleman has been a wonderful servant for the club, and the manager has been shown to value him extremely highly, but he is no longer able to reach the levels he used to.
The defence was stretched to its limit at times as the club fought to avoid the drop and the Irishman was left exposed.
While fellow January arrival Vitalii Mykolenko grew into his role on the other side there was no such development from Patterson as injuries put him out of contention.
The fee looked like it had been wasted, as so many have in recent years, but on the basis of what Nevin expects from him a fresh start in August means he may be set to start delivering significant returns on the investment.