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Rangers: James Tavernier happy to stay at Ibrox amid Newcastle interest

Rangers: James Tavernier happy to stay at Ibrox amid Newcastle interest

Rangers captain James Tavernier has insisted that he has no intention of leaving Ibrox, despite reports of interest from his former employers in recent days.

Earlier this month, The Scottish Sun reported that the 28-year-old’s former club Newcastle were hoping to bring him back to Tyneside, with manager Steve Bruce dispatching scouts to watch him in action. However, the right-back has since told The Scottish Sun that he is fully committed to the Ibrox club as they chase a first Premiership title in nine years.

Tavernier said from Rangers’ mid-season training camp in Dubai: “My contract is here, I’m fully committed to the team. We’re halfway through the season in a great position and my family are settled. In football it can sometimes be out of your hands, but I’m delighted to be here and want to continue.” [via The Scottish Sun]

The 2019/20 season has not been an entirely smooth one for Tavernier, who has had some moments to forget over the last few months. He made two fateful errors leading to goals in Rangers’ Europa League defeat to Young Boys in October and, a few weeks later, was slammed by some ‘Gers fans for not opting to take the fateful missed penalty in the Betfred Cup final defeat to Celtic, having scored numerous spot kicks in his time at the club.

He also came in for criticism after a 3-1 win over Hamilton in November, with ex-Rangers striker Ally McCoist telling BT Sport [via HITC]: “Your first job as a right-back is to defend and he’s not good enough at that at this moment in time”, while Jordan Carlisle of Rangers News said that the 28-year-old “was caught out of position at times in a shaky second half” that day.

However, Tavernier admitted to The Scottish Sun that he was told to raise his game by his manager Steven Gerrard in private and, to his credit, the right-back has contributed plenty in an attacking sense, with three goals and 12 assists already this season. Also, with 3,150 minutes played across 35 matches, he is Rangers’ second-most used player in the current campaign, testifying to his importance to the side.

His understudies at right-back are Jon Flanagan and Matt Polster, who between them have played just 768 minutes all season.

While Tavernier has had some difficult moments during the current campaign, his consistent selection by Gerrard and frequent goal contributions (only Borna Barisic has supplied more assists) illustrate his importance to a Rangers team in hot pursuit of a first Premiership title since 2011. Also, with Flanagan and Polster managing just one assist between them, his departure would leave a huge void in the side.

Therefore, Gerrard can be glad that his captain has publicly refuted any speculation over him potentially retracing his steps to Newcastle over the coming month.

Rangers fans, what have you made of Tavernier’s remarks? Are you happy that he seems committed to staying at Ibrox? Share your views in the comments section below!

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Article title: Rangers: James Tavernier happy to stay at Ibrox amid Newcastle interest

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