Why Crystal Palace should make a move for James Tavernier in January
Despite a relatively quiet summer transfer window, Crystal Palace started the season brightly before collecting just one point from their last four games – albeit a tough four games. Their recent form has seen them slip to 12th in the table, seven points off the drop zone.
Jordan Ayew’s unexpected resurgence has been incredible to watch but the Ghanaian has been blowing hot and cold lately, meaning the Eagles could definitely do with a new striker in their ranks during the winter window to solve their goalscoring woes.
However, the fact that should concern Roy Hodgson the most is the failure of Wilfried Zaha to make an impact this season, with the Ivorian yet to score a single goal so far in the Premier League.
Moreover, Joel Ward’s recent injury against Chelsea served as a reminder to Roy Hodgson that something needs to be done about the right-back area. With Ward injured, Martin Kelly, who’s converted himself into a centre-back, may be forced to return to right-back after the international break.
To put things straight, Crystal Palace must bring in a replacement for Aaron Wan-Bissaka, who departed the club for Manchester United in the summer. Ward is currently injured and even if Kelly does well for time being, reinforcing the right-back position simply cannot be ignored if the Eagles are to finish in the top-eight.
Back in May 2018, The Scottish Sun had claimed Crystal Palace were interested in signing Rangers star James Tavernier. The 28-year-old was one of Steven Gerrard’s key figures for Rangers last season, scoring 17 goals and registering 20 assists from right-back in all competitions. He has hit the ground running in the new season with three goals and four assists as the Gers look to end Celtic’s dominance in Scotland.
With James Tavernier performing well for Gerrard’s Rangers, Palace must reignite their interest and try signing him in January.
Palace have missed Wan-Bissaka’s athleticism and ability to bomb down the right flank and make overlapping runs even though Ward has done well this season. Tavernier would give plenty of energy and attacking flair down the right flank, whilst his ability from set-pieces cannot be ignored. Truly, he could bring something to Palace’s attack.
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As per WhoScored.com, Tavernier has averaged 2.3 tackles, 0.3 interceptions, four clearances and 0.8 blocks in the Europa League this season. In terms of attacking output, he has made 2.5 key passes and 1.3 dribbles, whilst taking 0.8 shots per game.
At 28, Tavernier is in his prime now and would be a solid addition to the Palace backline.