Leeds United must regret letting James Tavernier go
If Leeds United fans kept tabs on the academy in the mid-2000s, then perhaps seeing James Tavernier’s name on the books won’t be too shocking to the system reading it now.
The full-back was part of the club’s youth system from the age of nine after being snapped up by local side Farsley Celtic.
The Bradford-born ace would then spend six seasons at Leeds, mainly playing in a central midfield role, before eventually moving to Tyneside to join Newcastle for nothing.
While Tavernier has since become a star north of the border at Rangers, he admitted growing up his biggest Leeds icon was a certain Lucas Radebe.
He revealed: “My idol would be Lucas Radebe. The captain of Leeds, ‘The Chief’ as he is known in Leeds. He was a great leader in the glory days of Leeds and I just remember him being such a figure at the club.
But while Radebe may be his inspiration, Tavernier has carved out a real reputation as one of Europe’s most productive full-backs, with an impressive goalscoring record that puts even someone like Trent Alexander to shame. -Arnold.
According to transfer marketthe Englishman has scored a total of 86 career goals at senior level, including 77 with Gers.
What perhaps makes this record all the more impressive in the case of Tavernier is that he also stepped up with 105 assists for the Ibrox side, despite only coming in 335 games – essentially, even as a full-back, Tavernier averaged more than one goal contribution every other game.
It’s no surprise, then, that the defender has received praise, including from former Gers boss and current Aston Villa Steven Gerrard, who has spoken enthusiastically about his levels of consistency.
He mentioned“When we arrived we knew we had the best full-back in the league, and that has stayed the same. His consistency has really been outrageous. He has gotten stronger and stronger as the games go on.
“He’s led his team to three European races in a row so he deserves a lot of credit. The good thing is he’s available all the time, he gives his all and the numbers for a full-back, little no matter what league or level you play, are exceptional.
All in all, the man with 204 career goals to his name despite playing mostly at right-back has surely left Leeds wondering what could have been.
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