Reports in Scotland yesterday suggested that Roy Hodgson and Crystal Palace are preparing a bid of around £3.5 million for Glasgow Rangers right-back James Tavernier.
Whilst the Eagles have coped relatively well defensively since the former England gaffer arrived in September, they are widely expected to lose the services of Joel Ward this summer following the expiration of his contract, as well as waving goodbye to Timothy Fosu-Mensah, whose loan from Manchester United has now come to an end.
That would leave Aaron Wan-Bissaka as the only out-and-out right-back on the club’s books and whilst the youngster has done astoundingly well when thrown in at the deep end this term, it would be foolish to rely on just he and Martin Kelly ahead of the new Premier League campaign.
Still just 26, Tavernier has had a wide and varied playing career already, representing no fewer than 10 different professional clubs (mostly on loan) since making his professional debut for Newcastle back in 2009. Admittedly, he appears to have found a home at Ibrox, making in excess of 100 appearances for the Gers since making the switch in 2015 but the lure of top flight English football may prove to be quite tricky for the Bradford native to turn down, if push comes to shove.
Known to be an extremely attack-minded presence on the right flank, Tavernier has chipped in with a rather impressive tally of goals and assists during his time north of the border, setting up a potentially mouthwatering double-act with Palace’s Patrick van Aanholt, who has been pulling off similar heroics on the Eagles’ left-hand side throughout the campaign just gone.
Yes, both of them have slight holes in their game defensively but some would argue that they more than make up for it with the attacking potency they offer to any side they regularly play in. With Wan-Bissaka having been converted from a right winger into a right-back, there is no doubting his love of pushing on into the final third, suggesting that boss Roy Hodgson is keen to piece together a very direct and fast-paced side over the next two or three months.
Watch this space.