Rangers’ years of misery widened their gap with great rivals Celtic in Scottish football as the latter enhanced themselves significantly in terms of quality to attain silverware. But the recent resurgence under Steven Gerrard’s tutelage has brought in a ray of hope once again, and the former Liverpool great has successfully redeveloped the squad with an array of quality inclusions.
But the gaffer might find it hard to keep hold of his prized assets amid offers from English heavyweights and should plan for alternatives in the long run even if he manages to retain these resources beyond winter window.
“None of our players are available in January. But they all have a price. That never changes.
Gerrard opened up to The Express while discussing his transfer objectives. He is determined to avoid any significant departure when business resumes just over a month’s time. However, the speculations led to the uncertainty over skipper James Tavernier’s future who has been one of the major transfer targets of West Bromwich Albion since summer.
Rangers rejected bids from the Baggies back in August and the right-back was tied down to a new long-term deal a few weeks later. But the Albion boss Darren Moore must be boosted by the reports now as they seek to resolve their crisis at the earliest in order to earn an immediate Premier League return following a dreadful demotion last season.
Tavernier is in blistering form with 6 goals and assists each in 13 league outings. He has been instrumental from set-pieces, overlapping runs, cut insides and link-up football to terrorize the opponents. His egress will be depressing but the show must go on and the gaffer should find a way out to replace his star fullback in some way or another.
Gerrard might bank on a new resource to succeed the Englishman but, at the same time, he has Jon Flanagan up his sleeve, a player he signed for free from Liverpool who is being deployed as a left-back alongside Borna Barisic. The latter, however, is out injured for the time being and tipped to snatch a regular role from next season onwards. Flanagan could be shifted to his usual right fullback role in the absence of his current skipper but unlikely to make a similar impact high up the pitch with a persistent attacking contribution.
Yet the presence of Flanagan would provide enough stability at the back, a trait missing in Tavernier’s game and should see the gaffer making strategic alterations to incorporate the once-promising England international.