Chris Cadden: Why Hibs wing-back is a perfect fit and deserves his chance for Scotland
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Since his move from Rangers in January, the defender’s sole start for Everton came against Boreham Wood in the FA Cup. Even then, he was subject to a tactical switch and replaced at half-time.
Scotland manager Steve Clarke is loyal to the players he selects for international duty, so it was certainly no surprise to see Patterson included in the starting line-up against Poland on Thursday and the selection was justified by the performance.
However, if Patterson continues to be left kicking his heels at Everton Clarke will have to give consideration to his other options at right wing-back.
Stephen O’Donnell has been a regular in Clarke’s squads and never lets Scotland down, but the Motherwell captain now appears to have fallen behind Patterson in the pecking order for Scotland and with his 30th birthday fast approaching has probably reached his peak.
If Clarke needs to consider other right-wing back options in the coming months then Chris Cadden of Hibs must surely come into his thinking.
The 25-year-old won two Scotland caps in 2018 in friendlies against Peru and Mexico when he was a Motherwell player and then drifted out of contention when playing in the MLS for Columbus Crew and on loan at Oxford United in England’s League One.
But since his return to the Scottish Premiership in January 2021 to sign for Hibs, Cadden has been a model of consistency and is right up there as one of the best right wing-backs in the country.
Defensively steady, his boundless energy to bomb up and down the right touchline has been one of Hibs’ real strengths this season.
Hibs can count on him to fire two or three dangerous crosses low and hard across the six-yard box in every game. The problem they’ve had most weeks is not having anyone on the end of them.
Right-wing back is Cadden’s natural position and his playing style fits with both Hibs and Scotland. Whereas O’Donnell is more of a right-back who plays out of position when deployed further forward for Scotland, Cadden is arguably much better suited to Clarke’s preferred formation.
At 25 he has room to improve too and if he keeps playing like he is, Clarke should give him a chance soon.