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17 goals, 20 assists – Here’s why Newcastle United can’t afford to miss out on signing this dazzling Rangers star

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Rangers' right-back James Tavernier celebrates after scoring. (Getty Images)

Why James Tavernier would be a fantastic signing for Newcastle United

Back in July, a report from the Scottish Daily Record had claimed that Rangers skipper James Tavernier was at the top of Newcastle United manager Steve Bruce’s wish list.

Rangers have seen James Tavernier thrive over the last four years and it’s no surprise to see his sparkling displays attract interest from the Premier League. The 27-year-old hit a staggering 17 goals and 20 assists from right-back last season, showing that he’s one of the most potent attacking full-backs around.

Tavernier has been a key man for Steven Gerrard but was heavily linked with the club where he started his career as a trainee. Steve Bruce wanted to sign the Rangers defender but a move failed to materialise. Instead, he went on to sign Emil Krafth from Amiens to strengthen his full-back options.

In his first few matches for Newcastle, Emil Krafth has not looked like the best option at right-back.

The 25-year-old was dreadful on his debut against Norwich City and was given a torrid time by the Liverpool attackers in the Magpies’ 3-1 defeat at Anfield. It is clear the Swede needs more time to adapt to the demands of the Premier League.

Right now, Javier Manquillo is the better option for Newcastle United. That’s not to say he will be as the season wears on, but at the current moment, he should be the starter.

With DeAndre Yedlin yet to play this season due to groin surgery and Krafth needing more time to settle down, the Magpies certainly could do with a new right-back.

That’s when Newcastle should rekindle their interest in James Tavernier when the transfer window reopens in a few months’ time.

Tavernier is the best right-back in the Scottish Premiership and has been on top of his game for a while now. He is a modern-day full-back, blessed with good pace, crossing ability and energy.

He is brilliant while making the overlapping runs and is a constant threat from set-pieces due to his ability to deliver pinpoint crosses inside the box.

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The former Wigan Athletic man would bring in a new dimension to Newcastle’s game considering his tireless runs from the flank and attacking attributes.

His defensive lapses might be a matter of concern, but Tavernier offers the flexibility to feature as a wing-back, which could be perfect for Bruce’s preferred 5-4-1 system.


A leader on the pitch and off it, the signing of Tavernier would make complete sense for the Toon Army. But Bruce and the Newcastle board would need to come up with a sizeable bid to tempt Rangers into selling their skipper in January.