From Luis Diaz to Ashley Cole via Jack Grealish – Everton defender Nathan Patterson discusses his toughest opponents & boyhood idols

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Luis Diaz Nathan Patterson Ashely Cole
Nathan Patterson is a man that likes to test himself, with the Everton full-back telling GOAL about his toughest opponents and boyhood role models.

At 21 years of age, the Glasgow native is already a Scottish Premiership title winner, a full international with 13 caps to his name and an important part of long-term plans at Goodison Park.

He has settled quickly in English football, injuries aside, since completing a move from Rangers in January 2022 and has already come up against some of the trickiest wingers that the Premier League has to offer.

  1. Toughest opponent

    Toughest opponent

    Patterson told GOAL when asked to pick out his most testing foes, with outings against Liverpool and Manchester City springing to mind: “For me, it would Luis Diaz. I really enjoyed the battle, in a Merseyside derby as well. He’s a great player, but I thrived under the challenge. I played against Jack Grealish as well, another top player. I thought I did really well against him and really enjoyed the challenge – especially away from home against tough opposition.”

  2. Boyhood idols

    Boyhood idols

    As a highly-rated full-back, it comes as no surprise to find that Patterson idolised some iconic performers in that position when growing up. He said of those he tries to model his game on: “When I was younger it was Dani Alves, obviously Ashley Cole was up there as well as I really enjoyed watching him – his energy, great defensively and offensively as well. You try to take as much as you can from these type of players and put it into your own game.”

  3. Style of play
    JD Sports

    Style of play

    Patterson is now a buccaneering full-back in his own right, but is fully aware of the need to ensure that he is even stronger going backwards than he is heading forwards. He said of his playing style: “Aggressive, get up the pitch and create for the team. But also the defensive side as well, first and foremost that is your job. But you want to get up the pitch and try to get goals and assists for the team, that’s another objective as well. First thing first I am a defender, so that’s what I need to concentrate on. But when in possession I am going to try and create as much as I possibly can so we can get more goals – which is what we need to start doing more. We need to be more clinical and create more chances.”

  4. Life in the Premier League

    Life in the Premier League

    Patterson has taken in 16 appearances for Everton so far, with 13 of those coming in the Premier League this season. He has said of the challenges a young player faces when swapping life in the Scottish top tier for that in its English equivalent: “It’s a lot more ruthless. You maybe don’t have as much time on the ball and if you make mistakes sometimes, they are usually capitalised on more than in Scotland. It’s no disrespect to the teams or players, it’s just the talent in the Premier League now means that one mistake can lose a game.”

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