If there’s one thing you can say about the Glasgow Rangers captain’s career, it’s certainly been a wild ride so far.
James Tavernier has experienced the highs and lows that are both part and parcel of being a professional footballer. It’s a dream job for many, and it’s easy to understand why as there are almost endless opportunities, but this doesn’t mean that it doesn’t require a lot of dedication, hard work and sacrifice.
Tavernier began his career in the Leeds United academy, where he played mostly as a central midfielder, until he moved to Newcastle United in 2008. He went on to make just two appearances for the Magpies, having spent the majority of his time out on loan, before he endured a torrid time at Wigan Athletic.
Rangers signed the Bradford-born full-back from Wigan for an undisclosed fee in 2015. Since then, the 29-year-old has oft been criticised by the fan base, but has been given a new lease of life by Steven Gerrard since he first took charge of the 54-time Scottish champions.
He came under fire after games against Hamilton Academical and Hearts last season, although he has undergone something akin to a redemption arc so far this season, with a tally of 15 goals and 10 assists to his name in total.
It’s perhaps hardly surprising his heroics have led his former manager Mark Warburton to call him “a class act.”
Valued at £4.5m via Transfermarkt, in 15 appearances in the Scottish Premiership this season, Tavernier has scored nine goals and supplied six assists so far, whilst he is averaging 2 shots, 2.3 key passes and 1.3 dribbles per game, via WhoScored.
The right-back is just one of two players along with Connor Goldson to have started every single game so far this season, which just goes to show that he is clearly one of Gerrard’s favourites.
He has also received the highest WhoScored rating out of any other Rangers player for his performances, including the ever-reliable Ryan Kent.
Tavernier was heavily linked with Premier League clubs Brighton, Burnley and West Ham in the summer. Is it any wonder, really?
Having scored the goal that secured the Gers’ promotion to the Premiership, now he must help them to regain the title for the first time since the 2010-11 season to fully complete his redemption arc.
AND in other news, Forget Goldson: Rangers’ Leon Balogun stole the show with masterclass vs Liege…