Everton could send Nathan Patterson out on loan this summer under the instructions of Frank Lampard, who reportedly has his eyes on a more established right-back.
Patterson joined Everton in January, shortly before Lampard replaced Rafael Benitez as manager. The move south of the border has not quite paid off for the former Rangers man just yet, though.
Indeed, Patterson is still awaiting a Premier League debut, having been held back by a lack of faith from Lampard and then an ankle injury. His only appearance for the club so far was a 45-minute cameo in the FA Cup against non-league Boreham Wood.
Therefore, The Scottish Sun claim Lampard could oversee a loan exit for Patterson ahead of the new season. He is unlikely to have a major place for him in his Everton plans at present.
It is not yet clear exactly where Patterson could end up. However, the report suggests his next destination could be in the EFL Championship.
Having invested an eight-figure sum into signing the full-back, Everton will want to pick his next step carefully. Currently, they are mulling over whether it would be better to loan him out for an entire season, or just the first six months of the new campaign.
A departure would leave veteran club captain Seamus Coleman as their only natural option at right-back. In theory, someone like Mason Holgate – who usually plays centrally – could cover there.
But The Sun believe Lampard is looking at players from other clubs to help fill the void. One potential target would be Max Aarons after Norwich City’s relegation back to the Championship.
He was recently revealed to also be of interest to Bundesliga duo Borussia Monchengladbach and Wolfsburg, as well as Ligue 1 outfit Marseille. Everton were already speaking with him a few months before Lampard took the manager’s job, interestingly.
Patterson dropping down to the second tier could clear the way for Aarons to step back up to the top flight with Everton. A deal for the latter – whose contract is due to expire in 2024 – could cost around £15million.
Loan might be best step for Nathan Patterson
As for Patterson, his terms with Everton are due to last until 2027. Hence, he could have time to prove himself with his parent club after any potential loan spell away.
Still only 20 years old, there are many years ahead of Patterson in his career. Some patience will be important if he is to succeed in the Premier League.
There will still be good opportunities coming his way at international level; he has already made 10 caps for Scotland despite only making his senior debut with them last summer. At club level, though, it will be important to have the right platform.
For the time being, it may be best if that isn’t in the Premier League.