Nathan Patterson needed just 17 seconds to vindicate Steven Gerrard’s decision to bring him on in Rangers’ Europa League tie at Ibrox on Thursday.
Patterson was making his first appearance for the Gers since returning from self-isolating. And he could have hardly made a more immediate impact, scoring their second goal in the 5-2 win over Royal Antwerp.
It was a fantastic response from the 19-year-old who, understandably, has come in for a lot of criticism in recent times.
Of course, Rangers are now waiting to find out what punishment the SFA will dish out to Patterson and some of his teammates.
But his performance may have also left Gerrard with food for thought ahead of Wednesday’s clash with Livingston.
Leon Balogun has filled in at right-back in James Tavernier’s absence. However, the summer signing was taken off at the break against the Belgian side.
It remains to be seen if he is fit for their next game. But even if he is ready, Gerrard should seriously consider handing Patterson his full Scottish Premiership debut.
Balogun has done well in the less familiar role. But Patterson was a revelation last week. And given Tavernier’s absence, there is a chance Patterson may be needed in Europe even when he is unavailable domestically.
So using him in the top flight while he is available may be a smart move. Judging by his latest display, he is ready for more game-time.