Rangers might have failed to draw an end to their title drought, but they indeed closed the gap with Celtic at the top of the Premiership standings. It was never easy for Steven Gerrard to reconfigure the set-up and script a turn around within a few months, yet he has done a commendable job and re-established the rhythm to reclaim lost status.
The gaffer made an array of new signings during the past couple of windows and relied on them to prove their worth in one of Europe’s most aggressive and exciting football environment. Also, the players who have been at Ibrox for a while uplifted their game and James Tavernier, the Gers skipper, deserves appreciation for his boisterous display throughout the campaign.
The 27-year-old Englishman appeared 57 times across all competitions and managed to score as well as assist 17 times each despite featuring as a fullback. His stunning form made him a transfer target of many and the Glasgow giants turned down a couple of bids from West Brom before he penned a new contract last September.
Gerrard, meanwhile, is aware of the growing interest in Tavernier and expects more bids for him during this transfer window.
“It’s no surprise he’s been on the agenda for most of this season. There have been calls about Tav with clubs interested and I’m sure there still is. Whenever a transfer window opens, there’s interest in Tav.”
Stated the gaffer (as quoted by the Daily Mail) but, at the same time, he is keen on retaining him fending off interest from suitors.
‘The reality is, and I probably shouldn’t be saying this, every player has his price. Every manager up and down the UK has the same issues. But I can’t be any clearer, I want my best players to stay at Rangers and Tav certainly comes into that bracket.”
Yet a fascinating offer might break the resolve and the club must start looking for an alternative in case they fail to retain the former Newcastle United defender. Jon Flanagan is there as the understudy but he is not as influential as Tavernier is in the attacking third.
Although he needs to sharpen his defensive skills furthermore, Gerrard’s inclination for attacking fullbacks might make it more difficult for Flanagan to claim a first-team role to deputize for his skipper. Tavernier, also a set-piece specialist, is irreplaceable right now and the manager must find a way out to cope up in his absence during the upcoming term.
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