While Rangers have brought in seven new faces to Ibrox so far this summer, arguably their most important piece of business saw captain and talisman James Tavernier agree an extension to his current long-term deal, ensuring his place at Ibrox for the foreseeable future.
The 30-year-old had been linked with a potential move to Aston Villa earlier this summer to link up with former Gers boss Steven Gerrard, although this bumper new deal would seemingly indicate that the rampaging full-back is in it for the long haul at the Old Firm outfit.
Not only does this new contract ward off potential interest, but it also ensures that manager Giovanni van Bronckhorst can keep hold of a player who has been in sparklingly consistent form since his arrival in 2015, with the right-back having scored a staggering 85 goals and provided 109 assists in 353 games in all competitions thus far.
That remarkable haul includes a tally of 18 goals and 17 assists from the 2021/22 campaign, as the former Wigan Athletic man proved integral to the club’s surge to the Europa League final, as well as their long-awaited Scottish Cup triumph over Hearts.
Another figure who has also been a driving force behind that success is 25-year-old, Ryan Kent, with the former Liverpool gem seemingly the next on the list of players in line for a contract extension.
Unlike teammate Tavernier, however, there is a greater sense of urgency with just a year remaining on the forward’s existing deal, albeit with talks said to have begun regarding committing his long-term future to the Scottish Premiership outfit.
As journalist Pete O’Rourke recently stated, it would be a“huge boost” to the club were the aggressive speedster to agree fresh terms as a sign of his dedication to Van Bronckhorst’s side, having also been the subject of interest from Villa of late.
Plucked on an initial loan deal in 2018, the Oldham-born star has gone on to become a hugely influential figure at Ibrox, scoring 30 goals and providing 49 assists in 177 games in all competitions thus far, while also proving integral to the title triumph back in 2021.
The most recent campaign was particularly profitable as the £18k-per-week menace recorded 20 assists across all fronts – the highest tally at the club last term – with such a record proving just what an influence he has on the club’s displays.
Previously dubbed “sensational” by the aforementioned Gerrard, the £15.75m-rated man would no doubt prove hugely difficult to replace were he to depart any time soon, while the prospect of losing such a key figure on a free next year is simply unthinkable.
As a matter of urgency, the next priority should well be ensuring that Kent follows in Tavernier’s footsteps and puts pen to paper on a new deal.