Tottenham and Newcastle are keeping a close watch on free-scoring Rangers right-back James Tavernier, according to reports.
It seems strange to see a full-back being quoted as one of the favourites to score each week.
And yet the bookies are perfectly entitled to do so given Tavernier’s record-breaking numbers.
He’s played just 25 times for the Ibrox outfit this season. And yet, incredibly, he’s scored 16 goals and provided 11 assists.
Those figures are bound to attract the attention of clubs south of the border.
Newcastle are the other Premier League team said to be considering a move for the right-back.
Tavernier’s performances have helped Rangers to 14 wins and two draws in their opening 16 games in the SPL.
That puts Steven Gerrard‘s men a mighty 13 points ahead of Celtic. The Bhoys have two games in hand however.
The Bradford-born Englishman didn’t score in his first five league games of the season. But he’s since fired home 10 in the last 11.
That run includes five in his last four. In all competitions it’s 16 in his last 20.
Gerrard won’t want to sell
Tavernier joined Rangers in 2015 after a spell of loan moves in the lower leagues in England.
The club captain managed just three goals last year but banged home 17 in the 2018/19 campaign.
But now at the age of 29 he seems to be in the form of his life.
Understandably, his boss wants to keep him at Rangers.
Gerrard said: “It’s top level stuff. I have played with some fantastic attacking right backs, Kyle Walker, Glen Johnson, Steve Finnan to name a few. Tav is right up there.
“The pleasing thing for me is he is still contributing to the other side of the game. He’s pressing, he’s aggressive, he’s winning his duels, stopping crosses.
“Our clean sheet record, to me, is just as important as James’ other numbers.
“Where he is right now, he needs to bottle it and stay there for as long as he can because he’s in fantastic form.”
Rangers have conceded just three goals in the SPL this season. And no visiting team has scored at Ibrox.
Tavernier started out at Leeds United’s academy and has also been on Newcastle’s books.
That could help the Magpies’ cause if they move in January.
Another SPL-based full-back, Kieran Tierney, moved from Celtic to Arsenal for a hefty £25million fee in the summer of 2019.
But with Tavernier turning 30 next October, he’d be a much cheaper option for Newcastle, Spurs and any other Premier League team showing an interest.