Rangers must hold onto James Tavernier amidst Brighton interest
Rangers have a strong recent history when it comes to the right-back position. Steven Whittaker and Alan Hutton both departed for the top tier of English football, joining Norwich City and Tottenham Hotspur respectively.
Now, current club captain James Tavernier is increasingly looking likely to follow their path, with Brighton strongly linked with a move for the English defender in the upcoming January transfer window (h/t Daily Record).
Tavernier initially joined the Ibrox side in 2015, performing well at the lower Championship level. A tough first season in the top-flight followed but that could be chalked down to Rangers’ struggles as a club. Since last season, however, Tavernier has established himself as one of the Scottish Premiership’s best and most consistent players.
He scored a commendable 8 league goals in the last campaign and already has 3 in just 7 games this season. In fact, he can be deemed the Gers’ answer to Celtic’s much-heralded young left-back Keiran Tierney. While this could be a stretch, Tavernier often looks a cut above this level of football.
Manager Steven Gerrard recruited heavily over the summer and brought in right-back Jon Flanagan from his old club Liverpool. However, Tavernier’s form hasn’t allowed him a starting position. The player completely dominates the right side of the pitch and has been a vital cog in Rangers’ machine.
At the age of 26, he’s entering his peak years, meaning the time is right to try his hand in the Premier League. Considering the fact that he made just 2 appearances at his first club Newcastle United, the player might be tempted to go back and make a name for himself.
Interestingly enough, Brighton manager Chris Hughton was in charge at Newcastle when Tavernier was there and he should be aware of what the defender is capable of. His team are currently 13th in the table, only 5 points above the relegation zone and Hughton must sign a quality player like Tavernier in January to avoid battling it out at the wrong side of the league table.
A supremely-gifted attacking right-back like Tavernier is hard to find and his talents would definitely suit a mid-table Premier League club like Brighton. However, Rangers must do everything they can to hold onto their star man. After a long time, they are heading in the right direction under Gerrard’s leadership and losing Tavernier could derail their progress.