Newcastle United could play a blinder if they manage to re-sign James Tavernier from Rangers this summer after the right-back was linked with a return to St James’ Park.
Newcastle’s current right-back options are a concern, which is why Bruce needs to push on with a swoop for Tavernier so that he can get him in at St James’ Park and get him prepared for the upcoming Premier League season.
Tavernier was certainly in stunning form at Ibrox last season.
He was involved in a whopping 37 goals in 57 appearances across all competitions for Rangers, scoring 17 of his own and supplying 20 assists.
Although the former Newcastle right-back takes penalties and other set-pieces for the Glasgow giants, it is still a mightly impressive return for a full-back.
It’s more than what can be said about the Magpies’ current right-backs DeAndre Yedlin and Javier Manquillo.
Neither stood out for the Tyneside club last season, judging by stats by WhoScored.
Manquillo was involved in more goals per game than Yedlin and earned a slightly better match rating of 6.59, compared to the USA international’s 6.50.
Rafa Benitez played a system which utilised wing-backs for most of last season but the fact that Manquillo and Yedlin only earned a combined five assists and a pass completion of around 70 per cent each shows that Bruce needs to upgrade on them.
While it remains to be seen if Bruce will also use a wing-back system, Tavernier would be the perfect fit thanks to his incredible goal involvement at Rangers in the 2018/19 campaign.
WhoScored says that Tavernier is a “very strong” at tackling, crossing the ball, taking set-pieces and completing key passes – all areas where Yedlin and Manquillo could do a lot better.
Only nine players in Europe’s top five leagues were involved in more goals than Tavenier last season, with Lionel Messi and Cristiano Ronaldo among them [Daily Record].
For a right-back, that is ridiculously impressive and Newcastle need to try and agree a deal with Rangers as soon as possible to get the 28-year-old back in the northeast of England.