Why West Ham United must push for James Tavernier despite Rangers’ “not for sale” stand
West Ham’s pursuit of James Tavernier has hit somewhat of a roadblock as Rangers have warned them that the player is not for sale, as per Daily Record. The Hammers have secured the signing of Vladimir Coufal from Slavia Prague but remain interested in further reinforcements (source – The Guardian).
James Tavernier is a 28-year-old English right-back who plays for Scottish side Rangers. He started his youth career at Leeds’ youth system in 2001 but moved to Newcastle in 2008. While he may have been promoted to the senior side in 2011, he was sent on loan to Gateshead while he was in the U-23’s.
A string of loan moves followed to the likes of Carlisle United, Sheffield Wednesday, MK Dons, Shrewsbury Town and Rotherham United. Wigan signed him on a permanent basis in 2014 but was again sent on loan to Bristol City.
That was, however, the last of his loan spells as he finally settled in at Rangers in 2015. Since then, he has become one of the most prolific right-backs. In 254 appearances, he has scored 52 goals and assisted 78 (source – Transfermarkt). The defender has not featured for any of England’s youth sides or the senior side to date.
Why West Ham must push for Tavernier
While the club have managed to secure the signing of Coufal (source – The Guardian), they should still look at the possibility of adding another quality player to that position.
James Tavernier represents a rather decent solution for West Ham. Not only does he solve the issue at right-back but also comes with the added bonus of carrying a goal threat. Despite being a defender, Tavernier has stellar numbers in front of goal.
Given that West Ham’s other right-back option, Ryan Fredericks, provided just 3 assists in 27 games last season, signing Tavernier would be a huge upgrade in that regard.
This deal would not be easy to pull off especially if you consider the factors such as him being a key player for Rangers with two more years on his contract and that he has no wish to leave the club.
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But despite those obstacles, West Ham must push for his signing in the remaining few hours of the transfer window. He is one of the most underrated right-backs available now and gives them a dual advantage, both in attack and defence.