Why West Ham should raid Rangers to sign James Tavernier next summer
According to an earlier report from Birmingham Mail prior to the January transfer window, West Brom were interested in signing Rangers right-back James Tavernier and Ibrox manager Steven Gerrard had stated that the 27-year-old might head for the exit door. However, a move away from Ibrox failed to materialize for the club-captain and he continued to weave his magic in Scotland.
Tavernier has been in fine form this season, with the Englishman registering 14 goals and 17 assists from 47 appearances for the Gers across all competitions. The 27-year-old has been one of the standout performers for the Scottish giants since completing the switch from Wigan Athletic back in 2015, accumulating an impressive tally of 40 goals and 56 assists from a total of 187 appearances.
Tavernier has established himself as one of the hottest properties in the Scottish Premiership and quite unsurprisingly, his stellar performances haven’t eluded the eyes of the clubs across the border. Brighton were one of the Premier League clubs who were credited with an interest in the Rangers skipper last year, and going by the player’s current run of form, there might be more clubs to follow.
To put things into, West Ham should join the race to sign James Tavernier next summer, with the Hammers in need of a long-term replacement for the ageing Pablo Zabaleta. The Argentine veteran has done really well for Manuel Pellegrini’s side this term but he might as well hang up his boots at the end of the season, which would leave the manager with Ryan Fredericks as the sole option at right-back.
The east Londoners have lined up Man United skipper Antonio Valencia as a potential replacement, with the Ecuadorian international set to be out of contract at Old Trafford at the end of the season, but the 33-year-old can hardly be seen as a long-term fix. Hence, the Hammers should turn their attention towards Tavernier,27, as a long-term solution to their right-back conundrum.
The Rangers captain would be a perfect fit for Pellegrini’s attacking football which necessitates the full-backs to make powerful overlapping runs and create chances from the wide areas. And Tavernier, with his immaculate crossing, vision to link-up with his teammates from the flanks and powerful long-range shooting, certainly fits the bill. Furthermore, his ability to time his tackles to perfection and break up the play with crucial interceptions should interest the Hammers all the more.
West Ham have done reasonably well in their first season under Manuel Pellegrini, despite suffering numerous set-backs due to injuries. Already boasting of some top-quality players in their ranks, it is now time for the Hammers to consolidate and challenge for a spot in Europe next season.
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They need adequate cover in all areas of their squad to excel on all fronts and a new right-back should be on top of Pellegrini’s wishlist next summer. That said, the Hammers should make James Tavernier their No.1 target ahead of the upcoming season.
This high-octane Rangers ace moving to Leicester City for £15.5m would help Rodgers reinforce this key area – Agreed?
Leicester City Opinion: Why the Foxes should go all out for Alfredo Morelos?
Rangers hotshot Alfredo Morelos has expressed his desire to play in a ‘more competitive league’ next season. The Colombian, 22, has shone with Steven Gerrard’s Rangers and in the process has attracted a lot of interest, including Leicester City.
It was an underwhelming end to the season for Rangers and therefore, it appears that there is every chance that Alfredo Morelos may be on the way out of the club this summer.
French news outlet Foot Mercato claims that Marseille have scouted Morelos regularly, and there are top-flight sides in England also monitoring his situation. The report adds that Rangers could be willing to sell for around £15.5 million.
Leicester manager Brendan Rodgers knows plenty about the 22-year-old striker from his time in Scotland managing Celtic. That being said, Rodgers must quickly make a move for Morelos.
The way Leicester City finished their Premier League season should give the fans a lot of optimism in future. Rodgers has done a brilliant job at the King Power Stadium in a short space of time and is expected to spend in the ongoing summer transfer window to make his side capable enough to challenge for a top-six finish in the 2019/20 campaign.
The Foxes have an incredibly talented young squad and Rodgers just could be the right manager to unlock their potential. However, they definitely need players in the transfer window and going by Rodgers’ interest in Morelos, the club is apparently looking for a long-term replacement for Jamie Vardy.
Vardy has been a brilliant servant to Leicester, playing a key role in the club’s 2015-16 title triumph. He struggled under the tutelage of Claude Puel but since Rodgers’ arrival, the Englishman has done extremely well. But Vardy is 32 and while hasn’t shown any signs of slowing down, signing a long-term replacement this summer would be ideal for Rodgers.
The signing of Morelos to add quality to Leicester’s squad as well as compete with Vardy up front should be perfect. The three-cap Colombia international has been a fan favourite at Rangers since joining from HJK Helsinki in 2017. He scored goals for fun for the Glasgow giants this past season and is more than capable to take the Premier League by storm.
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Morelos is noted for his low centre-of-gravity, good close-control, sudden bursts of pace, quick feet and finishing abilities. He uses his bulky frame to keep hold off the ball and loves to make himself a menace for the opposition defenders. The Colombian has a massive potential to fulfil and under the management of Rodgers, he certainly can reach the top.
If Morelos is able to keep his temperament under control and maintain the form that has seen him score heavily for Rangers in the last twos seasons, he could be a fantastic addition for Leicester.
Rangers would strike gold if they manage to sign this talented 22-year-old full-back from this English club
Rangers Opinion: Gers should hijack Derby loanee Max Lowe from Aberdeen
The Daily Star understands that Aberdeen are keen to secure Lowe’s services on loan for another season but Rangers are considering a hijack to bring the talented 22-year-old to Ibrox this summer.
The same source claims that Rangers manager Steven Gerrard has contacted his old England teammate and Derby boss Frank Lampard to inquire about the possibility of having Lowe on loan for the upcoming season, although it is understood that the Rams are unlikely to let the 22-year-old depart on a permanent basis.
Rangers have already done plenty of business ahead of the summer transfer window, including the acquisition of Jake Hastie and Jordan Jones from Motherwell and Kilmarnock respectively on pre-contract deals. The Gers have also struck a deal for Southampton loanee Steven Davis, who is set to join the club permanently at the end of the season.
Steven Gerrard, however, is keen to add more depth to his squad in the transfer window to ensure that he has all his bases covered heading into the upcoming season. Despite all the promise that they have shown this season, the Gers have once again fallen short of Celtic in the title race and Gerrard seems to be well aware of that, as he prepares to bring silverware to the club in his second season in charge.
Rangers’ links with Max Lowe comes as little surprise to the fans at Ibrox given that the 22-year-old has enjoyed a wonderful run on his loan spell at Aberdeen this season. Lowe made 3 appearances for Derby earlier in the campaign before being shipped out on loan to Aberdeen where he has contributed with 3 goals and 2 assists from 41 appearances for the club in all competitions.
Meanwhile, Derby County are set to face Aston Villa in the EFL Playoff finals later in the month after a remarkable comeback victory over Leeds United in the second leg of the semi-finals. However, Lowe has only played a bit-part role for the Rams since making his debut in the 2016-17 season, with Scott Malone establishing himself as the first-choice left-back under Lampard.
Lowe’s rapid development in Scotland should prompt the former Chelsea legend to allow him to go out on loan to Rangers for the upcoming season given that there is a possibility of European exposure for the youngster.
To put things into perspective, Rangers can certainly do with another left-back in their ranks. They brought in Croatian international Borna Barisic last summer and although the 26-year-old has impressed at times, he has spent considerable time on the sidelines due to injuries. Jon Flanagan has also done a good job for the Gers down that left-hand side of the backline but Max Lowe can provide much-needed cover and competition in a key area of the pitch.
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The 22-year-old has been capped by England at all youth levels upto U-20 and he is regarded as a player with a bright future. Incredibly strong on the tackle and quick across the ground, the youngster has shown plenty of improvement in his ability to deal with the transitions in play, while also showcasing well-rounded passing attributes in the attacking third. He has really progressed by leaps and bounds this season and the Gers should relish having him in their side next term.
[Image] Scott Arfield to start on the right-wing? – Predicted 4-3-3 Rangers XI to face Kilmarnock
Rangers vs Kilmarnock Predictions: Rangers Line-up
Rangers travel to Kilmarnock on Sunday hoping to finish the 2018/19 season on a high.
The Gers defeated Celtic 2-0 in the Old Firm Derby last weekend which would have mightily pleased the fans and the manager, Steven Gerrard. A victory on the final day will be Gerrard’s aim, as Celtic have already wrapped up the Scottish Premiership title.
Kilmarnock, on the other hand, will look to beat Rangers at home and cling onto the third spot on the table.
Kyle Lafferty, Lee Wallace and Eros Grezda will miss the last game of the season due to injury, while Alan McGregor will remain suspended for his red card against Hibernian two weeks ago.
Probable Rangers XI
Manager: Steven Gerrard
Wes Foderingham (GK)
Foderingham kept a clean sheet in the victory over Celtic and will be confident to register another at the weekend.
James Tavernier (RB)
Tavernier has enjoyed another productive season for the Gers. The skipper will look to end the season on a positive note.
Connor Goldson (CB)
Goldson has been a consistent presence in the Gers’ backline throughout the season. He is likely to start against Kilmarnock.
Nikola Katic (CB)
Katic had a solid game alongside Goldson against Celtic and the Croat will keep his place in the starting XI.
Jon Flanagan (LB)
Flanagan has found most of the opportunities under Gerrard at left-back. He should continue there on Sunday.
Ryan Jack (CDM)
One of Rangers’ best players this season, Jack’s presence in the midfield allows the creative players to express themselves freely.
Steven Davis (LCM)
Davis had a good game against Celtic last weekend and is expected to keep his place in the team.
Glenn Kamara (RCM)
Kamara has been an impactful signing for Gerrard’s side and since his arrival in January, he has added a lot of energy and steel to the midfield.
Scott Arfield (RW)
Arfield has made a huge difference to this Rangers side, adding creativity and a touch of flair to the attack. The Canadian could start at right wing on Sunday.
Ryan Kent (LW)
With six goals and four assists, Kent has enjoyed a strong season at the Ibrox. The Liverpool loanee will look to finish the season on a high.
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Alfredo Morelos (ST)
Morelos has really kicked on under Gerrard after a promising first season at Ibrox, and he’s now one of the biggest names in Scottish football. The Colombian could be given the nod ahead of Defoe to lead the attack against Kilmarnock.
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