Rangers defender James Tavernier has picked Arsenal striker Danny Welbeck ahead of his Gunners' team-mate Theo Walcott as the best player he has ever had to defend against. 

Tavernier faced Theo Walcott in Arsenal’s 7-3 win over Newcastle United in December 2012, when the 24-year-old right-back came on as a 88th minute substitute for Sylvain Marveaux.

Walcott grabbed a hat-trick in the match and also racked up two assists as he blew the Magpies apart.

Tavernier came up against Welbeck meanwhile, during the striker’s time with Manchester United.

The Red Devils faced the Magpies in third round of the League Cup in September 2012.


Sir Alex Ferguson’s side registered a 2-1 win over Alan Pardew’s men on the day courtesy of goals from Anderson and Tom Cleverley.

Tavernier recollected the experience of coming up against the Arsenal speedster for a short spell, but felt that he was tormented more by Welbeck during their League Cup clash.

Speaking in an interview with Rangers TV, Tavernier said: “I know when I came on, only for a short spell against Arsenal, I had to mark Theo Walcott, and obviously that was an experience because he was a very fast player.

“But I think when I played Manchester United, I had Danny Welbeck on my side. So probably, Danny Welbeck [is the best player I have defended against].”

Tavernier has established himself as a first-team regular under Mark Warburton since his arrival at Ibrox in the summer.

The 24-year-old defender has managed to score 10 goals in 23 appearances for the Gers.