IN his ability and his physicality, James Tavernier has all the traits of a full-back for the modern game. Kenny Miller knows he also has the mentality to be at Rangers.

When Tavernier arrived at Ibrox in Mark Warburton’s first summer in charge, Miller questioned why his old friend Gary Caldwell would let him leave Wigan Athletic. He quickly became glad that he did, though.

The medals won during that campaign – the Petrofac Cup and Championship title – remain the only ones that Tavernier has collected in Light Blue. But the Ibrox captain knows as much as anyone now what it would mean to lift the silverware under Steven Gerrard’s guidance this season.

“We use this phrase, modern day full-back,” Tavernier’s former team-mate Miller said. “But it's a fact that the big clubs now need that attacking outlet.

“I could see right away at Rangers that we had a player. You could see the qualities he had.

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“But he's got better and I understand why teams are now looking at him.

“Physically, he's an animal. His body is in great shape, he's fast, strong, aggressive and he can dribble.

“When we won the Championship with Rangers, a large part of it was that double threat of Tav on one side and Lee Wallace on the other.

“He got a lot of goals that season and quickly proved why Warbs was so keen to sign him.

“Aside from all the physical attributes, what I look for in a Rangers player is the character.

“Because a lot of good players have come from England but couldn't handle playing the Old Firm.

“That's something he's grown into. He's really embraced what it means to play for that club.

“Quickly, he realised how big it was and what it meant to fans in the city.

“And he's ended up getting the armband under Stevie. He'll take that as the honour and privilege that it is.”

The decision that boss Gerrard made to give Tavernier the captaincy last summer was somewhat forced upon him given the disciplinary situation that surrounded Lee Wallace and the left-back’s lack of match action after a lengthy spell on the sidelines.

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It was no surprise that the Liverpool legend turned to Tavernier to lead his team during his first term in the dugout. It is also no shock to see how admirably those duties have been performed, both on and off the park.

Miller said: “Tav's always been a very respectful guy. When I left the club, he sent me some nice messages that I've kept to this day.

“And when Waldo left the club recently, everyone saw his social media post. That speaks volumes for Tav as a boy.

“He means every single word he says because I know the regard in which he held Lee Wallace.

“He looked up to him and Waldo helped him when he arrived at Rangers. He'd be the first to speak to new players and help them.

“It was tough for Tav when he got the captaincy off Lee, considering Waldo was still there.

“But he did it with dignity and I guarantee that he still looked to Lee as his captain.

“Waldo would have helped him through certain periods and what the role entailed.

“Tav has really grown into it now, he understands the importance of being Rangers captain, and his performances have got better with the armband.

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“Clubs are now looking at him because he has all the hallmarks of a top full-back.”

The form that Tavernier showed last term marked him out as one of the most impressive performers in the Premiership and he was unfortunate to be overlooked for the shortlists for the various personal accolades come the end of the season.

The 27-year-old has, unsurprisingly, come to the attention of clubs south of the border and Rangers could face a fight to retain the services of one of their key men. It is a battle Miller hopes they are successful in.

He said: “That's why teams down there are looking at Tav now, to see whether a move down there could make him even better. They'll wonder if they can get even more from him.

“Tav's always had a voice and that's what I liked about him right away. At times I had to tell him to shut up.

“But I could tell her cared and he was never one to shy away from a situation. That shows his character and it shows he's got balls which you need to play for the Old Firm.

“He's huge for Rangers and they won't want to lose him. I don't think they'll let him go on the cheap.

“They got him for £200,000 and could end up getting £10 million for him so he's been a really good investment.

“Everyone has a price, that goes for the likes of Tav or Morelos. Any money they bring in could be invested again in the team.

“Tav will have a price but the manager, his team-mates and the fans would be very disappointed to lose him.

“I don't think you get another Tav for £200,000 in this day and age.

“He's grown into the club and he really cherishes it now. Even for him, it would take something special for him to leave.”