Will £1.8 million valued assist king lead Rangers to title number 55?
Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images

Half-Term Report: James Tavernier

Following on from Borna Barisic, it’s time to assess the contribution of £1.8 million valued skipper, James Tavernier.
This man is subject to a lot of unnecessary criticism from Gers fans. In that regard, he has been compared to Josh Windass, by several of our Rangers News Forum contributors.

Tavernier received particular criticism after the defeat to Rapid Vienna. (Photo by Josef Bollwein/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

His form undoubtedly dipped during the early part of December.
However, the drop in performance can legitimately be explained away by fatigue.
With 37, Tavernier has more appearances than any other Gers player this season and has been a near ever-present under Gerrard.
Even after all that, he still reserved his best performance of the season for the last game before the winter break, a massive Old Firm win.

Outstanding stats for a right-back

The skipper looks delighted with his work after the 1-0 victory at Ibrox. (Photo by Mark Runnacles/Getty Images)

Tavernier receives the most praise for his contributions in the final third, and rightly so.
With six goals and eight assists, he has been involved in just under a third of all the Gers’ goals during this league campaign.
That’s an amazing record for a full-back.

Yet, against Celtic, he proved that he can defend well, too. His timing in the tackle was immaculate throughout, saving his team on several occasions.
This guy never shies away from responsibility. He takes set-pieces, bombs down the wing and defends, all while wearing the armband.

Tav passes on advice to Scott Arfield in Vienna. (Photo by Josef Bollwein/SEPA.Media /Getty Images)

He deserves additional credit for his job as captain, too. Tav led the side to some massive results in Europe, and heads up the first genuine title challenge in years.

Looking forward to the rest of the season, he is key. A constant in the side, who more often than not provides top quality service to the front men and leads by example in terms of effort.
He cops a lot of stick, but it’ll all be worth it, if he’s the captain who lifts number 55.

Grade: A

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