Rangers news: Pundit hails 'incredible' James Tavernier after what he's seen
Noel Whelan has insisted James Tavernier’s “incredible” goalscoring ability is “invaluable for Rangers” after he netted another crucial strike against Dundee United.
The former Aberdeen striker, speaking exclusively to Football Insider, claimed the 30-year-old’s threat going forward opens up a “completely new dimension” for Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side in attack.
Tavernier opened the scoring with a penalty as Rangers recorded a 2-0 win over Dundee United on Sunday (8 May) to keep their slim title hopes alive.
The Newcastle academy product has now netted 17 goals across all competitions this term – and is the outright top scorer in the Europa League with seven strikes.
Tavernier has also amassed 16 assists in 55 appearances.
Whelan insisted the full-back’s attacking output doesn’t diminish his effectiveness in defence.
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“It’s massive for Rangers,” he told Football Insider‘s Ewan Kingsbury.
“We know what he’s like with set-pieces – corners, penalties, and free-kicks. But he also scores so many goals from open play – which is quite incredible for a full-back.
“It just goes to show that freedom and that commitment that he has going forward, and it doesn’t lessen his defensive impact either. He’s got the energy and running to do both.
“When you’ve got these players who can pop up from deep with a goal, it just opens up a completely new dimension for Rangers. It’s so hard to defend against someone who knows how to make those kinds of penetrative runs.
“He’s invaluable for Rangers.”
The former Rotherham ace has netted 82 goals in 344 games over a seven-year spell at Ibrox.
Rangers face Eintracht Frankfurt in the Europa League final on 18 May in Seville.