Rangers captain and right-back James Tavernier has been linked with a move to Newcastle United in the January transfer window. The Magpies were interested in him even in the summer, but nothing had materialised. Tavernier who went through some tough times this season recently responded to the transfer rumours and said that he is fully committed to Rangers at the moment.
Tavernier on his future and how Gerrard helped him
Tavernier recently said (The Scotsman), ”My contract is here, and I’m fully committed. We’re halfway through the season, in a great position and my family are settled. In football, it can sometimes be out your hands, but I’m delighted to be here and want to continue.”
The former Wigan Athletic player clearly has eyes on continuing with Rangers, and we believe that Gerrard too would want to keep hold of him. Tavernier also talked about how he needed a kick up his arse to get back to his best this season after some glaring errors.
The captain said, ”You almost need a kick up the arse when it comes to stuff like that (coping during tough phase), and the gaffer was rightly there to do that, and I appreciate him for doing that. Every lad needs a little push every so often.”
Tavernier was behind some high profile errors in the big games in the Europa League. He had also missed some penalties, and the pressure was mounting on him. However, the full-back picked up his performance in the last few weeks before the winter break.
What can Gerrard do in the future?
The 28-year-old often divides opinion among the club faithful. However, he continues to remain an essential player in Gerrard’s setup. But not having any real competition for his places should be a cause of concern for the gaffer. Rangers have Jon Flanagan and Matt Polster for the right-back spot apart from Tavernier. We believe that Rangers should be on the lookout for a right-back in the summer.
Even though Tavernier was poor in quite a few games, the other two fullbacks didn’t come close to replacing him. Hence, Gerrard ended up giving the right-back the hairdryer treatment, which Tavernier termed as a kick up his arse. Tavernier continues to remain a significant threat while going forward, but it cannot be ignored that he could be found wanting defensively.
His defensive positioning sometimes leaves a lot to be desired. As for now, it is no surprise that Tavernier is pledging his commitment at Ibrox with the title race on. Maybe in the summer, Gerrard could consider letting him go if a decent offer comes in. The manager can then replace him with a more younger and long term alternative.
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