Did Newcastle Let A World Class Player Slip Away?

Last updated : 12 March 2018 By Footy Mad - Editor

Steve Evans looks at the full-backs at Manchester United and Chelsea – and he doesn’t see anyone better than James Tavernier.

In fact, he believes the Rangers ace could give £50m star Kyle Walker a run for his Manchester City as well.

That’s how highly the Scot rates Tavernier.

Image result for newcastle James TavernierThe pair worked together at Rotherham United in 2013 when the defender joined on loan from Newcastle United.

Tavernier was pivotal in the Millers’ play-off final triumph at Wembley that secured promotion to the Championship.

Evans was stunned that Tavernier left St James’ Park for Wigan Athletic but later gave him a glowing reference when Mark Warburton moved to bring him to Ibrox.

And the current Peterborough United gaffer says Tavernier is now fulfilling the potential he had as a kid.

Evans is adamant the Rangers captain is now one of the best full-backs in the UK.

And that’s coming from a die-hard Glaswegian Celtic fan.

Evans said: “I’m a Celtic supporter but I’ll have huge admiration and respect for James when he leads out a great club like Rangers at Ibrox on Sunday.

“He was a modern-day full-back who I always felt would go to a big club and achieve great things.

“It was a huge surprise when he joined Wigan. He wasn’t getting a regular game there, I couldn’t understand it. Mark wanted a reference for James before he signed for Rangers.

“Not as a player, because Mark is an excellent judge of a player, it was more about his character.

“I told him that I would take James anywhere I went.

“If Tavernier played at Man City, would he slot in? I think he would.

“Arguably, he’s better than anything Man United or Chelsea have in that position.

“Chelsea play with wing-backs but if you do that, Tavernier would be among the best in the country.

“Having James tied to a long-term deal at Rangers is good for Scottish football.

“You’ll never stop the power and money of the Premier League clubs who can cherry pick players.

“I know managers in the Premier League and top end of the Championship who would have taken James. I gave a few a similar reference to the one I gave Mark.

“But the people who look after him see his future at Ibrox.

“And it was difficult for anyone to get him because he wants to stay there.”