So far he has started two Carling Cup games for United, and what with Simpson saying in court on a speeding charge: "I think I will be leaving Newcastle in January", Alan Pardew is looking for cover.
When he returns from Hillsborough (he is at Sheff Wed on loan), Tavernier is targeting “progress” at St James’ Park.
James Tavernier: “I would have to say Sol Campbell was one of the biggest influences on me.
“When you are working day in, day out with someone who has achieved everything that Sol did in the game, that is going to be a major, major plus for a young player.
“He would just give me little bits of advice and he was very approachable as a professional.
“With everything he had he done in the game – being one of the best defender’s in the world at one point – you just want to listen to him.
“The time at Carlisle was really helpful.
“Greg (Abbott) is a fantastic manager and a great coach – he taught me a lot.
“I think loan spells can only be beneficial. You learn a lot being in and around the coaching staff we have at Newcastle but playing in League One games is a few levels above reserve team football and it is a steep learning curve.
“It has been a fantastic experience to come to Newcastle United and I have learned so much since I have been here.
“I would say the aim this year is just to progress.
“Of course I would love to play for Newcastle, but if that means another loan spell I am fine with that.
“The manager (Alan Pardew) has shown he is not afraid to give young players a chance and that is a big encouragement.”