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Sunderland linked with Rangers and ex-Newcastle full-back; is he any good? The crack from Ibrox

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The Daily Mail reckon Sunderland are in the market for yet another right-back - James Tavernier from Rangers. We collared a ‘Gers guru to bag the crack.

Rangers v St Johnstone - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

According to the Daily Mail, Sunderland are interested in signing right-back James Tavernier from Glasgow Rangers.

The 26-year-old began his professional career along the road at Newcastle, making 11 appearances during a three-year spell on Tyneside under first Chris Hughton and then Alan Pardew.

Assorted loan excursions characterised his days at St James Park and he impressed at the likes of Gateshead, Carlisle and Rotherham before Pardew decided to let him go in the summer of 2014.

Manchester United v Newcastle United - Capital One Cup Third Round
Tavernier playing for Pardew’s Noocarsle in 2012
Photo by Alex Livesey/Getty Images

A year signed to Wigan followed on escaping St James Park but with the Latics set to plummet into League One, the Bradford-born full-back went out on loan to Bristol City for the remainder of 2014-15.

Signed by Mark Warburton at the same time Rangers landed Martyn Waghorn from Wigan, Tavernier has made nearly 90 appearances for the Ibrox club with a healthy fifteen goals to his name - albeit 10 of them came in the Gers Championship campaign a couple of years ago.

Rangers v St Johnstone - Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership
Tavernier would come with attacking intent
Photo by Ian MacNicol/Getty Images

But do the Black Cats really need another right-back and what would he offer Chris Coleman’s side? Here’s the crack from Glasgow courtesy of @RangersMedia stalwart and BearsDen forum mod ‘Cushynumber’...

Off the park he has been excellent - no trouble, no gaffs on social media etc. On the park, at the moment I would say he is the best attacking right back in Scotland. He has a great engine and loves getting forward and his crosses/assists are typically of a very high quality - in fact I believe he has the highest goal assists in Scotland at this time. If you have forwards that like a good ball into the box, then Tav can deliver it.

He is good technically and though he isn’t a speed merchant, I wouldn’t say he is slow.

The great positive about his game is also linked to the glaring negatives - in his eagerness to get forward, he does get caught out of position a lot. Opposing teams have spotted this and target this area when breaking and Tav is caught up the park.

He needs to pick his moments to go forward far better. However, in fairness this season he has being doing that far more intelligently. Unfortunately Rangers have been chasing far more games than we want to, so it’s been no surprise he has maybe attacked more then was maybe prudent. He also needs to close down attackers far quicker to stop crosses into the box - imho stopping crosses into the box is the weakest part of his game.

He has only just turned 26, and has easily been the best signing Mark Warburton made for us and I believe would be a good signing for most clubs - he just needs to curb his attacking enthusiasm a little and concentrate on doing some the defensive basics better.

Patrick van Aanholt but without the acceleration, then? For one thing, this pedestrian Sunderland side is crying out for some pace, and if Chris Coleman has a long-term plan to play with three central defenders and a pair of wingbacks, then the Black Cats boss will need to bring in personnel ready-suited to the system.

A targetman striker will be needed in January to complement Tavernier’s style of play but we know a hit man of that ilk is desperately required at the Stadium of Light regardless.

Adam Matthews
Image: Sunderland AFC

Quite where Sunderland’s three other senior right-backs come into the reckoning, who knows. Billy Jones is out of contract at the end of the season but Adam Matthews has been rumoured to be in line for a new deal for a while with his contract having just a year to run at the end of this season. Youngster Donald Love has featured in a couple of games under Chris Coleman but has been hit-and-miss so far.

The younger brother of James, Marcus Tavernier, scored against us in the Tees-Wear derby back in November of course. The elder Tav was always well thought of during his time at Newcastle and the report in the Mail claims Rangers would be happy to let him go with 18 months left on his present contract.

A fee of a few hundred thousand English pounds may be enough to entice the cash-strapped Gers into a sale. What do you reckon?


James Tavernier, fancy a punt on him at Sunderland?

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