Rangers have a golden Tavernier replacement in “highly rated” 20 y/o

    Glasgow Rangers manager Philippe Clement has enjoyed a solid start to life at Ibrox as they are just one game away from securing their first trophy in 18 months.

    The League Cup final against Hearts at Hampden next month gives the Belgian the perfect chance to endear himself to the supporters even more.

    The next few weeks could be crucial for the club and the 49-year-old will require all of his senior players to step up and make themselves counted, especially if they have any ambitions of success this term.

    While the results on the pitch recently have improved, the January transfer window is fast approaching and the former Club Brugge boss will be keeping an eye on several targets.

    Maybe not in the next window, but he will also be looking to land long-term replacements for players who are approaching the end of their careers, such as Connor Goldson, Borna Barisic and especially James Tavernier.

    The captain recently turned 32 and while his attacking contributions are still at a wonderful level, he won’t be like this forever and another top class right back should be the priority.

    Michael Beale signed Dujon Sterling during the summer transfer window, and he was looked upon as a player who could have the long-term capability to succeed Tavernier on the right side of the defence, but it hasn’t quite worked out that way for the former Chelsea gem.

    Dujon Sterling’s Rangers statistics

    The 23-year-old came through the ranks at Chelsea, making two appearances for the senior side, before a succession of moves in the lower leagues.

    His latest spell was with Stoke City, where he featured 28 times last season and, while not known for his attacking abilities, the defender looked like a reliable backup option to the Gers captain upon signing.

    His progress at Rangers hasn’t quite gone to plan, however, as he has played only eight times so far this term, starting just twice and yet to feature for Clement in either the league or Europe.

    In the Premiership, Sterling ranks in a lowly 17th spot for accurate passes per game (13.5) along with ranking 12th for tackles per game (one) and 25th for overall Sofascore rating (6.4), proving he hasn’t enjoyed the best of success on the field of play domestically.

    It is still early in his Rangers career, though, and he can turn the corner if given the chance, but it doesn’t look like Clement has full trust in his ability.

    The Light Blues will be hard-pressed to find a player who can contribute as effectively in the final third as Tavernier, as the Englishman already has 14 goal contributions – 11 goals and three assists – across 22 matches this term already.

    James Tavernier’s season in numbers

    The right back is outshining pretty much every single Gers player currently in the league as he currently ranks first in the squad for goals and assists (eight) while also topping the pile for big chances created (six) and key passes per game (three), clearly indicating that he is a key player for the club.

    While Clement will still get another couple of years out of the captain, Tavernier will eventually need to be replaced and while Sterling was brought in as a backup option, it’s evident he isn’t up to the required ability to be a long-term heir.

    James Tavernier’s league stats






    Successful dribbles per game


    Key passes per game


    Big chances created


    Stats via Sofascore

    At one point, it looked as though former player Nathan Patterson was the ideal heir to his throne, yet the youngster was sold to Everton last January and the Gers are back to square one.

    Could Clement turn to another young talent who has had experience in the first team and, with a little bit more confidence, could succeed Tavernier in the right back slot? As in Adam Devine, they have a talent who has been under used this season.

    Adam Devine’s career statistics

    The 20-year-old was given his senior debut by Giovanni van Bronckhorst towards the tail end of the 2021/22 campaign.

    He came on as a sub against Dundee United, while starting against Hearts just a few days later as the manager was resting some first team players for the impending Europa League final in Seville.


    He impressed sufficiently during those ties, succeeding with 100% of his dribble attempts while being dribbled past just once per game and averaging 53 touches each match, showing that he was keen to impress and grasp the opportunities given with both hands.

    It gave the defender a solid platform to work with as Beale had to call on him during the festive season last term due to injuries to Barisic and Ridvan Yilmaz.

    Once hailed as “highly rated” by former Partick Thistle boss Ian McCall in 2021 after he joined the club on a short loan deal, Devine certainly displayed this talent when required for the Gers last season.

    Across six Premiership matches, the Scot not only created two big chances and averaged one key pass per game, showcasing his attacking ability, but he also succeeded with 100% of his dribble attempts and was dribbled past only 0.2 times per game.

    The defender even won 1.8 total duels per game – a success rate of 55% – and it was clear that he stepped up to the plate when it really mattered, as the club didn’t lose a single game where he was involved.

    Although not quite at the same level to Tavernier at this current moment in time, given more chances in the first team, he could develop into a first class right back.

    His versatility at being able to play on either side of the defence will also be a big advantage for him when trying to impress Clement, although he has yet to make an appearance under the Belgian yet.

    His time will come, however, and in the long term, he could certainly be a better option than Sterling in order to replace Tavernier on the right side of the defence.

    The captain still has plenty to offer, but it won’t be long before his excellent spell at Rangers has to come to an end.

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