Derek Johnstone names Tavernier as Rangers' best player this term

A general view of Ibrox Stadium is seen ahead of the EURO 2016 Qualifier match between Scotland and Georgia at Ibrox Stadium on October 11, 2014 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Glasgow Rangers defender James Tavernier has handed the Ibrox club a major boost by signing a new contract.

James Tavernier of Rangersis seen during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and St Johnstone at Ibrox Stadium on December 16, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

Derek Johnstone has told the Evening Times that he thought that James Tavernier had been little better than mediocre heading into this season, but believes that the right-back has actually been Rangers' best player this term.

Tavernier has been excellent this season for the Gers, proving to not only be a brilliant full-back but also really establishing himself as a leader within the squad - which was highlighted by the 26-year-old captaining the Light Blues for their Scottish Cup clash with Ayr at the weekend.

James Tavernier of Rangers controls the ball during the Betfred League Cup Quarter Final at Firhill Stadium on September 19, 2017 in Glasgow, Scotland.

He has handed Rangers a major boost this week by signing a new deal that the club have confirmed is set to keep him at Ibrox until the summer of 2021. And Johnstone has suggested that the defender has earned the fresh terms by stepping up his game during this campaign.

"Since signing on at Rangers, Tavernier, in my opinion, has not been fantastic but he’s not been bad either. He’s perhaps been somewhere above mediocre to be fair; a decent full back but nothing special," he told the Evening Times.

James Tavernier of Rangers scores a penalty during the Ladbrokes Scottish Premiership match between Rangers and Aberdeen at Ibrox Stadium on January 24, 2018 in Glasgow, Scotland.

"It’s changed a bit this season and he looks a different player altogether. I think he’s been exceptional and, arguably, Rangers’s best player."

Tavernier has definitely been one of Rangers' best performers this term, but he is arguably not the only player to have stepped up to make the side look a lot more promising this season.

Players such as Wes Foderingham, David Bates, Jason Holt and Josh Windass all seem to have improved since last season, and with a recruitment process that has resulted in the likes of Declan John and Alfredo Morelos quickly becoming key players, and a January window that looks set to be deemed an overwhelming success, it appears that Rangers are putting together a really exciting squad.

And if Graeme Murty can enjoy some luck with injuries in the coming months after seeing a number of important players sidelined recently, Rangers may perhaps have the kind of squad that can make a similar-sized leap to the one that Johnstone believes Tavernier has taken this season.

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