Rangers' January priority should be keeping James Tavernier

Rangers players celebrate their second goal scored from the penalty spot by Rangers' English defender James Tavernier during the UEFA Europa League Group G football match between Rangers...

Glasgow Rangers captain James Tavernier has been linked with the Ibrox exit in the January transfer window.

James Tavernier of Rangers celebrates after scoring his team's second goal during the UEFA Europa League Group G match between Rangers and SK Rapid Wien at Ibrox Stadium on October 4, 2018...

After years of suffering, it looks as though it is a fantastic time to be a Rangers fan again right now with the Steven Gerrard era kicking off in exhilarating fashion at Ibrox.

It appears inevitable that Rangers will soon be title contenders if they stay on their current path, and their progress is coming at a time when they are starting to put themselves back on the European map, one year after Progres helped ensured that Pedro Caixinha will go down in Gers folklore for the wrong reasons. 

 

Everything seems to be going well for Gerrard right now, but he would be forgiven for being slightly concerned that his priority for the January transfer window has already been decided for him - and that is keeping James Tavernier at the club.

After a superb first year, Tavernier's form over the last couple of seasons has seen him come in for criticism. But being handed the captain's armband last season appeared to make a big difference to the right-back.

Rangers' English defender James Tavernier (L) tries to hold off Rapid Wien's Austrian forward Deni Alar (R) during the UEFA Europa League Group G football match between Rangers and Rapid...

Being made permanent skipper under Gerrard appears to have been a masterstroke. Tavernier has been sensational for the Gers, both on the pitch as a player and as a leader galvanising a side that endured so much transition over the summer.

Unsurprisingly, there is now interest in the Englishman. Sky Sports reported this week that Brighton are keen on handing the full-back the chance to make a move to the Premier League in the winter having previously monitored his progress.

It remains to be seen if the Seagulls follow up their interest with a bid or whether Tavernier has any interest in leaving, but the Gers must do everything they can to convince the defender to stay at Ibrox.

Rangers' English manager Steven Gerrard is seen before kick off of the UEFA Europa League Group G football match between Rangers and Rapid Wien at Ibrox Stadium in Glasgow on October 4,...

He may not be the most accomplished defender, but he has scored 32 goals and provided 47 assists during his time with Rangers. It is a remarkable return, and the Light Blues would do incredibly well to replace him with a similar player should he leave.

Rangers may find themselves in a position in January where one or two inspired signings could be what gets them across the line in various competitions. But based on his current form, keeping Tavernier at Ibrox will unquestionably be one of their best pieces of business should they manage it, especially given the statement it would make to deny a Premier League side the chance to pinch one of their stars.

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