Rangers assistant manager Gary McAllister has revealed that the Ibrox side could adopt a change of system or of style to solve the dilemma of getting both captain James Tavernier and wonderkid Nathan Patterson into the XI.

Speaking ahead of the club’s trip to St Johnstone, McAllister made the comments with the conversation raging around the 19-year-old who has impressed during Tav’s injury problems.

But with Tavernier set to return to the starting line-up – and at the time of writing things remaining unclear regarding Patterson’s Covid-19 appeal – McAllister hinted the club could get creative with how they incorporate both full-backs.

“What a wonderful position for the manager and everyone here at the club to have two outstanding players in the same position,” said McAllister [Rangers].

“Could that evolve and could there be a little bit of change there? Time will tell.

“The beauty is that we’ve got an outstanding youngster and a player whose numbers are probably among the best in the world from that area of the pitch.

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“As a club we are uber-delighted to have two outstanding players in that area. There are different formations that, you never know, we might be able to get the two of them on the pitch at the same time.”


The first inclination for supporters may be to push Tavernier further forward, the Gers wing-back a powerful runner, superb crosser and excellent striker of the ball.

But could the Gers take some inspiration from legendary coach Pep Guardiola and incorporate the talented full-back in a midfield number 8 role?

Pep has famously reinvented his full-backs before, most notably at Bayern Munich where the now Man City coach moved firstly Phillip Lahm into midfield.

The Germany legend is one of the finest passers the game has seen and it was a stroke of genius which also inspired further changes, not least with Lahm’s protégé Joshua Kimmich.

Bayern Muenchen v Borussia Moenchengladbach - Bundesliga

Pep Guardiola helped reinvent Phillip Lahm as a midfielder and similarly moved Joshua Kimmich between right-back and midfield. (Photo by Lennart Preiss/Bongarts/Getty Images)

Now valued at £81m by Transfermarkt, the 26-year-old is now recognised as an industrious midfield player but has also shone at right-back for Die Roten.

Tavernier has all the attributes to influence matches in a similar way.

The Ibrox captain has a terrific engine, he is a superb link-up player and he’s also got an eye for a pass. Tavernier making late runs into the box is also a tantalising prospect to many Gers fans.

Rangers have history with this too – Fernando Ricksen famously moved from right-back to central midfield in the latter stages of his Ibrox career.

Rangers v Ross County - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership

Could moving James Tavernier into the Rangers midfield solve the Nathan Patterson dilemma and be a stroke of genius for the Gers? (Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images)

Going by what McAllister had to say, the Gers certainly aren’t ruling out similar when it comes to their Captain Fantastic.

Gers fans have also been making the suggestion on Twitter as Patterson continues to impress in a Rangers shirt this season.

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