In Focus: Keeping James Tavernier for his peak years would be great for Rangers

As reported by The Scottish Sun, Rangers have opened talks with James Tavernier over extending his current contract at Ibrox, which runs out in 2019.

What’s the story?

Rangers’ recruitment appears to have turned a corner in recent months with fans delighted at their January business and finally hopeful of the future under manager Graeme Murty.

Just as important though is retaining their key stars, with contracts for a number of first team players expiring either this summer or next.

One of those players is James Tavernier, whose current contract runs out in 2019.

Rangers though appear to be pro-active in keeping him at the club with boss Murty revealing that they have opened contract talks with the player, who is rated as worth £585,000 by Transfermarkt.

As quoted by The Scottish Sun, the Rangers manager said:

There are ongoing discussions with James. As far as I am aware he loves it here. I actually had a chat with him about full backs in England and the manner in which they approach training and their life. I personally think he is the best right back in the country. He possesses physical and technical attributes of the highest standard. We have to then get the rest of him up to that standard. If we do that then even though we are discussing a contract with him now, his aims could be fulfilled by him maximising what he does

Clearly Murty is a fan, but just how important is keeping him at the club?

What does he offer the team?

There’s no doubting that there are question marks at times about Tavernier’s ability to defend under pressure. His positioning and lack of discipline has been a real issue at Rangers from day one. That’s likely the ‘rest of him’ that needs improving according to Graeme Murty.

However, Murty is also correct to assert how vital he is to Rangers, with his attacking efforts on the right flank often the side’s main outlet to get the ball forward and create chances in the final third.

With the arrival of Declan John, Rangers now have two excellent attacking full-backs at Scottish Premiership level.

At 26 years of age, a new contract would ensure Tavernier is at the club for his peak years as a footballer and protects his transfer value too. It’s something that should be and clearly is a priority for the Light Blues in the coming months.