3 assists in 5 games in England - Tavernier alternative may already be on long-term Ibrox deal
Photo by Robin Jones/Getty Images

Do Rangers already have Tavernier alternative in Ross McCrorie?

A number of Rangers senior players, including the captain, James Tavernier, are under pressure following a wretched run of domestic results, and in Ross McCrorie, the Gers could already have a potential replacement for the Englishman at right-back.

Tavernier was a key performer for an improved Rangers during Steven Gerrard’s first season with the club.

Gerrard entrusted Tavernier with the armband following his appointment as manager. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

However, while he’s continued to offer plenty in attack this season – registering 14 assists in all competitions – and has on occasion delivered a strong defensive display, he’s made a considerable number of high-profile and costly mistakes.

Those errors coupled with poorly judged comments in the matchday programme for the midweek clash against Hamilton, have him firmly in out of favour with large numbers of Bears.

There’s a distinct lack of viable alternatives to the skipper at right-back, though.

Jon Flanagan has struggled this season and looks to have run out of chances at Ibrox. Meanwhile, Matt Polster has shown glimpses of real ability but is still very inexperienced in British club football and although Nathan Patterson is an exciting talent, his relative struggles in the UEFA Youth League defeat to Atletico Madrid last month show he still has plenty of developing to do.

Patterson was exposed by the brilliant Rodrigo Riquelme against Atletico. (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Yet, Ross McCrorie, who is currently out on loan, but contracted to the club until 2022, could prove a legitimate option for next season.

The 21-year-old has struggled with injuries and hasn’t always been the flavour of the month with Kenny Jackett at Portsmouth, but he’s now beginning to get more playing time and is impressing with it.

He’s made a positive impact for a Pompey side who have recovered from a poor start to the season to reach third in the EFL League One table as well as the EFL Trophy final.

McCrorie contributed a late assist in a chaotic last few minutes to help Pompey book that spot at Wembley, while he’s notched further assists in two of his last three league matches, before holding his own in an FA Cup clash with Arsenal on Tuesday night.

McCrorie could return to Rangers in the summer and challenge Tavernier for the right-back slot. (Photo by Steven Hadlow/MI News/NurPhoto via Getty Images)

It’s early days yet for a player Bears are more used to seeing operate in a holding midfield role.

However, McCrorie himself has admitted that SFA performance director Malky Mackay wants him to make a permanent conversion to full-back [The News, Portsmouth], and with 11 league games remaining plus a potential playoff run, the homegrown talent still has time to strengthen his case.

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