Although Rangers would’ve preferred a better start to the season, with their Premiership unbeaten run over and an embarrassing defeat to Malmo ending their Champions League hopes, James Tavernier has been superb at times for Steven Gerrard’s side.
The captain led the way last season as they stormed to the Premiership title, contributing a remarkable 12 goals and 11 assists from right-back in the league for the Bears.
Despite the team’s dip in form, the former Wigan Athletic man looks set to be a star performer for Gerrard’s side once again this season, with three assists in three league appearances for the Gers so far this term.
The 29-year-old has been one of the key attacking threats in Rangers’ side in recent weeks, with only Alfredo Morelos (3.7) and Ryan Kent (2.8) averaging more than Tavernier’s 2.7 shots per game in the 2021/22 Premiership.
He also looks to be the chief creator, as no Rangers player comes close to the 4.3 key passes he has averaged per game so far this season, with fellow full-back Borna Barisic in joint-second with just 1.5 key passes per game.
This emphasises just how important the 29-year-old is in this Rangers team and he will surely be key if the Gers are to retain their title this season, although they are currently playing catch-up to Hibernian and Hearts, who have both enjoyed unbeaten starts to the 2021/22 campaign.
Tavernier is also the highest-rated player in Rangers’ side so far this season according to WhoScored, with his 7.69 average rating in the Premiership comfortably the best of any player in Gerrard’s side. That matches his rating from 2020/21, when he was also the squad’s best performer.
The 41-year-old was full of praise for his captain last season, saying: “I think Tav is someone who, when he goes through the gears, is unstoppable, and we have seen that, or flashes of that so far this season. I think he is really close to being at his best.”
Judging from these statistics and his performances this season, it is easy to see why Gerrard dubbed him “unstoppable”, and he will be hoping to maintain this strong early-season form throughout the whole campaign.