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Southampton will regret missing out on this powerful 27-year-old ace who would’ve worked wonders for the defence

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James Tavernier applauds the Rangers fans. (Getty Images)

Why Southampton could regret not signing Rangers’ James Tavernier

Back in May, a report from the Daily Mail had claimed that Southampton were interested in signing Rangers defender James Tavernier.

James Tavernier, 27, is one of the best right-backs in the Scottish Premiership, and he was one of the best players for Rangers the previous season. The 27-year-old has scored 13 goals and provided 14 assists in the 2018/19 Scottish Premiership campaign.

The Englishman has started the new campaign brightly for the Gers as well, already chalking up five assists. Considering James Tavernier is one of the best in the business in the Scottish Premiership and was coming off the back of a solid campaign with Rangers, it’s surprising to see Southampton didn’t get their man in the end.

Southampton manager Ralph Hasenhuttl prioritised strengthening his attack over the summer by recruiting Moussa Djenepo and Che Adams as well as making Danny Ings’ loan move permanent. The idea of ignoring the defensive problems, especially after last season’s royal struggles, has already provided the Saints with a reality check.

Hasenhuttl’s side are yet to register a point on the board having lost to Burnley and Liverpool. They have conceded five goals in two games, with the defence once again looking shaky like last season.

With Hasenhuttl preferring a three at the back system, the Saints should have done more than just signing 20-year-old defender Kevin Danso on a season-long loan from FC Augsburg. They should have also signed a wing-back to cover and compete with the likes of Yan Valery and Ryan Bertrand.

That’s when the addition of Tavernier would have made sense for the sea coast club. Last year, he was instrumental for Steven Gerrard’s side in attack chipping in with 17 goals and 20 assists across all competitions.

The defensive side of his game has rightly been questioned, but it’s an area he’s worked on under Gerrard and is much improved compared to when he first joined the club.

In Hasenhuttl’s 3-5-2 system, Tavernier would have been perfect at right wing-back. He is a typical modern full-back, who can bomb forward and cover the entire flank. The former Newcastle United man is an excellent crosser of the ball and an expert set-piece taker.

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With all due respect to the young Valery, the 27-year-old Rangers star would have given more attacking punch to the Saints’ attack in the final third.


Southampton have made a very slow start to their campaign and they will have to count on for some luck again to avoid relegation. Tavernier, for all his qualities, would’ve been ideal in Hasenhuttl’s system and the Saints might regret not signing him up.