Rangers star James Tavernier said he’d be putting his feet up in the immediate aftermath of the Ibrox side smashing Hamilton 8-0 over the weekend.
A near ever-present for Rangers since joining the club in 2015, this season Tavernier has taken his game to the next level, a feeling exemplified by his stunning two-goal display against Accies.
— Rangers Football Club (@RangersFC) November 8, 2020
Throughout his Ibrox tenure, these international breaks have served as the perfect opportunity for our captain fantastic to recharge the batteries and reapply the war paint.
It will be the same this time around as a laser-focused Tavernier gets himself and his teammates ready for an assault on the title with the next break not scheduled until next year.
But for many supporters, the flying wing-back’s form at home and in Europe deserves much greater recognition on the international stage.
The England national team is a difficult squad to permeate even if you play down south, so for many the notion that Tavernier could break into the team via Scotland is fanciful.
Not that the Gers skipper couldn’t do a job – if there aren’t Premier League sides salivating over his performances of late I’d be very, very surprised.
Tavernier’s delivery is exquisite, his engine exceptional and his defensive development this season exceeding all expectations.
But for Tavernier becoming a full England international is a task made even harder by the swelling abundance of talent the Three Lions have at right full-back.
Starter Trent Alexander-Arnold is seven years his junior, plays for the Premier League champions and was most recently valued at around £117m [CIES Football Observatory].
Beyond TAA, in their most recent squad alone, England have three right full-backs who are above Tavernier in the pecking order.
Manchester City star Kyle Walker has 51 caps and cost Man City £45m back in 2017 [BBC Sport].
Kieran Trippier scored in a World Cup semi-final and plays Champions League football with Atletico Madrid. He joined the Spanish side in a £20m deal last season [BBC Sport].
Chelsea Reece James is widely regarded as one of the most versatile young English talents around and regularly fills that slot for Frank Lampard’s side. Transfermarkt values James at £27m.
That’s before we talk about Manchester United full-back Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who cost the Old Trafford club £50m last season [BBC Sport] and can’t even make the squad.
That’s a combined £259m worth of talent ahead of our marauding captain in the pecking order.
Whilst there are Rangers fans out there who rate our athletic skipper as highly as some of these names, it says something about the strength in depth England have in this position that Tavernier can’t get a look in.
Besides, it’s not exactly bad news for Rangers – it just means he’ll be plenty rested for when Aberdeen come to visit in a fortnight’s time.