In a recent interview with Football Insider, former Premier League striker Darren Bent has backed West Ham United to reignite their interest in Burnley defender James Tarkowski. When asked about whether the Hammers should rekindle their interest in the Clarets centre-back, Bent said, “Yes, I fully expect them to.
“He’s certainly a player that I really like. He’s very good; he defends really well.
“He’s right in what he’s saying. Burnley have done very well up to a point, but then you start to think to yourself ‘what are Burnely’s ambitions? Are they trying to win trophies? Or do they just want to stay in the Premier League again?’
“That’s not just Tarkowski either, that’s a number of their players, I’d even put the manager in that as well.
“We’ve heard Sean Dyche come out and say investment in the club hasn’t been enough.
“Tarkowski wants a fresh challenge and wants to play at the next level, and you can’t crucify him for that, you commend him.
“Hendrick left on a free last year, and you can’t let your best players leave on a free.”
Tarkowski’s Campaign At The Turf Moor Thus Far
Tarkowski has struggled to help his team secure any victories in the Premier League so far but deserves a bit of credit for giving a good account of himself at the heart of Sean Dyche’s defence. The Manchester-born defensive ace has been involved in six matches for the Lancashire outfit this term, picking up one yellow card in the process.
The 27-year-old has done well to average 2.0 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 4.0 clearances and 1.0 shots per game in the top tier of English football. However, his ball-distribution has further room for improvement as he has only made 76.4% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).
What Does The English Centre-Half Offer On The Pitch?
Tarkowski possesses the strength to dominate the aerial battle with the opposition inside his half. Standing at 1.85m, the Clarets star can be at intimidating presence during set-pieces at both ends of the field. He is usually quick to snuff out the danger and is not shy of clearing his lines when in trouble at the back.
The English centre-back can pass the ball well and often pulls off some crucial interceptions for his side. At 27, he is playing at his prime at the moment, so David Moyes can expect to get the best out of him if he can lure him to the London Stadium in January or next summer.
Is Tarkowski The Right Fit For The East London Club?
Tarkowski will be an excellent fit for the Hammers as he has got all the skillset required to be a success story at the English capital. He could stabilise the West Ham defence by adding more bite and steel. Furthermore, the Burnley defender is already good enough to give the likes of Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna a run for their money in the race to earn a regular starting spot in Moyes’ first XI.