STEVEN GERRARD reckons James Tavernier has all the attributes to be a Premier League player – but insists he never wants him to leave Ibrox.

Rangers rejected an offer from West Bromwich Albion for their captain on Wednesday and got through deadline day in England without losing the services of the right-back.

Tavernier put the speculation over his future to one side to score in the 3-1 Europa League win over Maribor at Ibrox as Rangers took a significant step towards the play-off round.

Gerrard said: “James was magnificent. Look, good players get attention from other clubs. I don't appreciate that attention 24 hours before a big game. I'd like a phone call off of big Darren (Moore) at some point.

“But listen, I've been in the game a long time and good players attract attention and things like that happen and to be fair, he handled it very well and that was probably his strongest performance so far.

“I only knew the outside when I walked in. I’m a big fan. He’s got ability, he’s got power – there is more to come from James. I think he still has gears to go into.

“For me, he is a Premiership footballer. He can play in the Premier League no problem.

“But I noticed when I walked in that he is a leader and a very likeable guy in the dressing room. People respect him.

“He has been through a lot of turbulence in his time at the club but handled it very well. That’s the reason I gave him the armband.

“James knows what I think of him. It was a big decision to make him captain of this football club.

“I speak to him every day. It is up to James whether he tells you what has been said between us over the past few days but he has had my full backing and full support. I want James Tavernier here as long as I am here.”

Tavernier will remain an integral part of Gerrard’s plans this term as the 38-year-old looks to lead Rangers to domestic success and into the Europa League group stages.

But Josh Windass has played his last game for the Light Blues after clinching a switch to Wigan Athletic just before the deadline.

Gerrard said: “Wigan got to a number the board were happy with and the board put the decision in mine and Mark’s hands.

“I spoke to Josh this morning and asked him what he wanted to do and he made it clear he wanted to speak to Wigan.

“I wouldn’t stand in anyone’s way if they want to play for another team in their favourite position.

“Josh wants to be a number nine every game for Rangers and i couldn’t guarantee him that. I could guarantee him football matches but maybe in different positions and formations.

“Maybe Paul Cook said he could be number nine every week and that may have triggered his decision.

“Josh is a good boy and we got on well, but he wanted to speak and I don’t want to stand in his way if that’s what he wants.”