By Darren Bent

8th Aug, 2019 | 11:49am

Darren Bent Exclusive: 37-goal/assist ace perfect for Smith as Villa circle 'massive club'


Rangers defender James Tavernier could fit perfectly into Aston Villa’s attacking style of football as Dean Smith eyes up a late move, according to Darren Bent.

The former Villa and England striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, says that the 27-year-old’s desire to get forward and contribute in the final third of the pitch is exactly what Smith looks for in his players.

As revealed exclusively by Football Insider, the Rangers captain is at the heart of a potential transfer triangle, with the Villans circling Ibrox in case they need to bolster their right-back options on deadline day.

Bent says that Tavernier would not be daunted by moving south of the border into England’s top flight, having played for a massive club in Rangers,

“He’s a good player, I’ve watched him in the Scottish league a few times now and he is very, very attacking,” Bent told Football Insider.

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“He would be an interesting signing, a surprising one if they can get it over the line. There’s talk about Elmohamady going, Alan Hutton, they didn’t renew his contract – they need cover in these positions.

“Maybe the way Dean Smith wants to play, I’ve played against Smith’s sides before and they love to attack first and foremost. They like to get forward, forward in numbers and outscore you and Tavernier from Rangers, he can attack, he scores goals.

“People point their fingers at the Scottish league but Rangers are still one of the biggest sides in world football, it’s a massive football club. I don’t think the Premier League would be too much of a step up for him.”

Despite being a right-back, Tavernier was one of Steven Gerrard’s most valuable attacking outlets last season, netting 17 goals and chipping in with 20 assists across all competitions.

A dead-ball specialist, the former Newcastle United defender was Rangers’ designated penalty taker and also contributed from free kicks.

In other Aston Villa news, Darren Bent has told Football Insider that he believes a 27-year-old wants a permanent exit from the club.