Why Aston Villa should plot a move for James Tavernier
According to The Shields Gazette, Aston Villa are interested in signing full-back James Tavernier, who is likely to be put up for sale by Rangers boss Steven Gerrard.
Tavernier, 28, came through the ranks of Newcastle United’s youth system and played for several clubs in England including Carlisle United and Bristol City. He was later signed by Scottish giants Rangers in 2015 and has been a key member of the team for the past five years.
He has contributed to the team at a decent rate all season despite being a right-back and helped the Gers lift the Scottish Challenge Cup at the end of the 2015/16 season. He has established himself as one of the best in his position in Scotland and earned the captain’s armband with his impressive performances.
Meanwhile, Dean Smith’s men have struggled since their promotion to the top-flight and are currently 19th in the Premier League standings on the back of a heavy 4-0 defeat by Leicester City. They haven’t clicked as a team so far despite making several signings in the last two transfer windows.
Except for club captain Jack Grealish, no one has shown consistency in their performance and Villa are at the risk of facing relegation if they don’t make a shift in their performance for the rest of the season. However, regardless of their league status, Smith should bring in reinforcements to the squad and form a team that can challenge well next season.
Among the several positions that need to be strengthened, the manager should bring in a right-back. Frederic Guilbert has featured regularly for the side, whereas Ahmed Elmohamady has seen limited game time and is already 32, with just one year left on his contract.
Therefore, Villa must look to sign James Tavernier from Rangers as a replacement for the Egyptian, who has fallen out of favour and has not been at his best.
The goal and assist-laden English full-back has already racked up 9 assists for the Gers this season and is at the top of assists chart. He provided 18 assists in his first season in Scotland and notched up 14 last campaign.
Whereas, at Villa, Grealish is the top assist-provider with 6 to his name and none of the full-backs has contributed enough to the attack. This shows Tavernier could be a valuable asset to the team and is capable of still playing at a higher level.
The 28-year-old is a versatile player as he is capable of playing anywhere in the defence line and not just at right-back. He would be a good addition to the squad and would certainly add quality and depth.
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At 28, the Englishman has a few more years left to continue with the good form and the Villans must make use of him. He may not be a long-term prospect but can help them for a couple of years with his performance if he is able to reproduce the same form he has shown at the Ibrox.
Hence, Villa must move ahead in the race for Tavernier’s signature and lure him to Villa Park in the summer.