Former Scotland striker Steven Thompson believes Everton defender Nathan Patterson is set for a successful international career.

Everton full-back Nathan Patterson has represented Scotland at senior level on 13 occasions to date. However, the 21-year-old is not currently Scotland boss Steve Clarke’s first choice right-back.

Instead, Brentford’s Aaron Hickey regularly finds himself in the Scotland starting XI ahead of Patterson.

Fierce competition for a full-back role is nothing new in the Scotland squad. Andy Robertson and Kieran Tierney are both left-backs, and two of Scotland’s most high profile players. Clarke has found a way to fit both into his starting XI, and that might be how Patterson and Hickey are eventually used together.

At club level, Patterson is seeing plenty of action. He has played every minute in the Premier League for Everton so far this season. Sean Dyche has so far struggled to get his defensive balance right in this campaign, but Patterson is likely to be a key figure at the back throughout the season.

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Everton to benefit from Patterson battle

Playing regularly at Goodison Park can only be a good thing for Patterson at international level too. Steven Thompson, who represented Scotland 16 times during his playing career, certainly believes that the Everton youngster has what it takes to challenge Hickey for regular minutes.

Speaking to BBC Sport, Thompson said, “it’ll be an interesting battle over the next few years, that right wing-back berth. Hickey and Patterson are both good players playing at a very good level. Aaron Hickey has the shirt just now and he’s done nothing wrong. Patterson will be pushing him all the way.”

Everton will be hoping that this battle with Hickey will inspire Patterson to improve and impress to an even greater level for his club.

Patterson has the potential to be a star for club and country. However, Everton need to start seeing greater defensive consistency from the £28,000-a-week ace. If the Toffees are to steer clear of relegation from the Premier League this season then they must become more solid at the back, and Patterson will have a part to play in that progression.

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