Former Rangers defender Alan Hutton feels Adam Devine can push for James Tavernier’s starting role at Ibrox.
Hutton claimed that Devine is good enough to stay in Glasgow and has the ability to put pressure on the Rangers captain position at right-back.
In a previous interview with the Daily Record, the youngster revealed that he is willing to play in the less familiar left-back role where he has since been deployed by Michael Beale, starting three consecutive games there in Borna Barisic’s absence.
He then replaced Tavernier for Rangers’ most recent game against Motherwell, with him now well on course to stake a permanent place in the first team.
His prominence of late has been enough to convince Hutton of his first-team credentials, as he told Football Insider that the return of Barisic could leave him pushing Tavernier all the way.
He said: “We will have to wait and see.
“Listening to the manager, he believes that Devine can give him 20 per cent more [on] the right-hand side. So that is an intriguing competition moving forward for Tavernier.
“He is not getting any younger, he has had a couple of niggles as well. He is probably going to look to push him all the way until the end of the season.
“So I do not see why he would want to rush out on loan when there is an opportunity in the Rangers first team.”
TIF Thoughts on Hutton’s comments…
Tavernier’s unassailable place in the Gers side could be under real threat come the end of the season, with Devine certainly impressing Beale whilst the 31-year-old struggles to remain 100% fit.
Speaking on a recent episode of The Rangers Review, journalist Jonny McFarlane alluded to Tavernier’s similarities in play to Kyle Walker, who has picked up a role as a centre-back in a back three for England – something he believes the Rangers man could do.
He said: “I think he would be quite good on the right of a back three, and I wonder if in the years ahead [if] Tavernier could find that as a kind of new position and another string to his bow.”
In our view, Rangers will have to plan for the future sooner or later, and rather than sell Devine, if his rise continues, he could become impossible to ignore as an option in his own right, with a new role for Tavernier potentially a solution to experiment with over the second half of the season as Beale builds his squad at Ibrox.