Rangers skipper James Tavernier signed an extension that will keep him with the club until 2022. Here’s why that’s important.
James Tavernier is a player who has always clearly been talented and also clearly been one of the club’s best players since their revival from bankruptcy. And yet, the decision to retain him for the long term is a bit questionable for some.
For many people, even if Tavernier has been one of the few bright spots on the roster over the past three years, he still represents much to do with the failures of the club.
Tavernier joined Rangers back in 2015, while Rangers were still in the Scottish Football Championship, the second division of Scottish Football. He was brought in from Wigan athletic for the fee of 200,000 pounds.
Since then Tavernier has scored many goals, but his style of play, being a defender that isn’t that good at defense, is seen as one of the problems with the club.
Since returning to the top flight of Scottish football Rangers have often been soft and unable to stand up to the better clubs they face. Tavernier and his style of play received flak for this and it is understandable. Against stronger clubs Rangers have to play defense and can’t just control the ball the whole game, and Tavernier would often get exposed in these situations. To make matters worse, Tavernier has often looked to not be quite the quality player to be a true difference maker of higher-level competition even when he has the ball at his feet.
Despite all of this, Steven Gerrard named Tavernier captain this season and has now decided to resign him to retain him for the long-term. Not unlike Alfredo Morelos, the decision shows maturity and wisdom from the new boss.
It would’ve been easy for Gerrard to decide, as many in the media already had, that Tavernier was a symbol of failure the past two years and that the club needed a totally fresh slate.
Instead Gerrard recognized that with a better side around him, Tavernier could thrive and be one of the best players on a good team. This season Tavernier has responded by stepping into the captaincy, and has never played better. The fact that he was here through the hard times will also be valuable going forwards so that it can help to make sure that the side doesn’t fall into the same problems as the past.