Rangers’ decision to let Polish youth international right-back Mateusz Zukowski leave on loan looks strange amid news of an injury to Ibrox skipper James Tavernier.

The ordinarily robust Gers right-back, 30, rarely picks up major issues but was removed from the XI at half-time of the club’s demoralising 4-0 Champions League defeat to Ajax.

AFC Ajax v Rangers FC: Group A - UEFA Champions League
Photo by Raymond Smit/NESImages/DeFodi Images via Getty Images

It’s unclear how long James Tavernier will be affected by the injury, but Rangers boss Giovanni van Bronckhorst was quick to explain that this was the reason why the Gers star was hooked.

The Ibrox captain had been bullied off the ball by Mohammed Kudus for Ajax’s explosive third goal before halftime.

“Tav had already got a knock a couple of weeks ago and he’s struggling a little bit,” said van Bronckhorst.

“Also with his fitness. It was good to change him because we could put Leon in as he was struggling a bit in the first half.”

Rangers right-back conundrum as James Tavernier injured

However, the player initially signed to play back-up to the Ibrox skipper is no longer at the club as the £500k spent to bring now Lech Poznan loanee Mateusz Zukowski to the club comes under scrutiny.

Especially considering Rangers have apparently been aware of the knock to James Tavernier over the last few weeks.

Rangers signed Matuesz Zukowski in the aftermath of Nathan Patterson’s departure for Everton but the defender has so far only played one game for the club – the 3-0 Scottish Cup win away to Annan Athletic last season.

Rangers have instead preferred to look within the club’s own ranks with teenage defender Leon King – traditionally a centre-back – coming on to replace James Tavernier in Amsterdam.

The club also have youngster Adam Devine in the club’s ranks, with the talented teenage right-back now set to be handed an opportunity if James Tavernier spends an extended stint out the first team.

Meanwhile, there’s a £250m Chelsea reason why the latest soundbites from Giovanni van Bronckhorst are a slap to the face to Rangers fans.

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