Crystal Palace Opinion: Why the Eagles should go for James Tavernier?
Back in May 2018, a report from the Scottish Sun claimed Crystal Palace were interested in Rangers star, James Tavernier. However, a move didn’t materialise and the right-back stayed put at the Ibrox.
Tavernier, 27, 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 was the skipper of the side that finished second in the Scottish Premiership table, nine points behind arch-rivals and champions Celtic.
The full-back’s dazzling form last season should be enough for Crystal Palace to reignite their interest and attempt to sign him this summer.
Roy Hodgson wants to strengthen his squad ahead of the new season after the Eagles finished 12th on the table. The veteran manager has already one of his last season’s stars in Aaron Wan-Bissaka to Manchester United and could see Wilfried Zaha depart as well amidst interest from Arsenal.
Crystal Palace are yet to replace Wan-Bissaka, who had made the right-back spot his own during his breakthrough 2018/19 campaign. With less than a month left for the summer transfer window to slam shut, the south London club could do well with a dynamic and skilful right-back like Tavernier.
There will always be scepticism when a player from the Scottish Premiership is signed by a club in the Premier League, but Tavernier has the qualities to be successful in England. The 27-year-old has been a revelation at Rangers, wearing the captain’s armband with pride and producing dazzling displays from the right flank, whilst bagging plenty of assists and goals this past season.
Tavernier is agile, athletic and pacey and his final product is fantastic too. He is a specialist in taking penalties for his team is a natural-born leader, someone who Crystal Palace desperately need at the moment. With Hodgson keen to give his full-backs the freedom to bomb on, the ex-Newcastle United starlet’s pinpoint delivery and superb right foot could potentially be a reliable source of goals at Selhurst Park if Palace manages to sign him.
Wan-Bissaka’s departure has left a huge void in Hodgson’s squad which Tavernier, who at 27 is playing in his prime, would be the right player to fill it and compete with Joel Ward for the right-back spot next season.