By Beck Pascal

14th Jun, 2022 | 5:10pm

Jermain Defoe brands Rangers skipper James Tavernier a machine

Jermain Defoe has branded Rangers captain James Tavernier a “machine” after he posted a picture on social media putting in the work ahead of pre-season. 

The defender had a brilliant season for the Gers – bagging 35 goal involvements across all competitions as Giovanni van Bronckhorst’s side lifted the Scottish Cup and narrowly missed out on the Europa League trophy on penalties. 

Typically, footballers would make the most of their off-season by relaxing on the beach but the right-back is already gearing up for next season despite being on holiday. 

Not Tavernier though, the 30-year-old has been testing his metal with some intense fitness training with the Elite Sports Performance Group in Dubai. 

The Light Blues skipper wrote on Instagram: “Thanks to everyone at Elite Sports Performance Dubai for keeping me in great condition for the season ahead”.

To which Defoe replied: “Machine”.

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There is a reason why Tavernier can still perform at the ridiculous levels he does despite being 30, the guy just doesn’t quit. 

The 2021/22 campaign was arguably his best season in a Rangers shirt and despite his age, he doesn’t look like stopping any time soon. 

After the season the team have just had you would expect him to be chilling out somewhere ahead of what will undoubtedly be another intense 2022/23 term but there is no sign of that at all. 

His Bears teammates need to take serious notice of their captain, he really is leading by example.

As things stand, Tavernier’s contract expires in 2024 but who knows when he will hang up his boots given his late surge of form and determination.

One thing is for sure, he is a huge player for the Glasgow outfit and when he inevitably does leave – a gaping hole will be left in the squad which will be extremely difficult to fill.

In other Rangers news, a Sky journalist has predicted a big-name player to be done at Rangers after his Instagram post.