With Nathan Patterson’s exit, a small question from many fans is where it leaves club captain James Tavernier.
Many would argue Patterson’s emergence from the Academy was a major factor in Tavernier’s increase in form, both this season and last, with otherwise sketchy displays which somewhat divided fans over his merits.
With Patterson as understudy, there was a feeling the captain had a threat to his position, and while Patto wasn’t getting the jersey just yet, he would, soon, and the current number one was under pressure to keep his displays at their best.
That pressure is gone now.
Tavernier now has no real competition for his shirt, and we must only hope that he doesn’t return to complacency without a rival for the starting berth.
What are the chances of this?
Truthfully, they’re not small. Tav has only ever really delivered good consistent form when he’s been rivalled by a worthy competitor. The last one he had was Lee Hodson, and the Irishman’s career since Rangers hints at why he wasn’t up to it.
So Patto has been the man to get the best from Tav, and with him now gone, Rangers really need to sign someone worthy of the jersey, of pushing the captain.
Because his track record without competition isn’t the best. Those stats this season and last have been great, but they’ve seen a fantastic Patterson as alternative.
With him gone, the captain could slip back into old habits.
We hope to be misjudging him, and that he will retain his present form.
Because there’s now no one to take his jersey.