Thursday, October 6, 2022

Kirkland Urges Liverpool To Recruit This English Defender: Should Klopp Launch A Move For Him?

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Abhinab Ghosh
A 26-year-old sports writer and an aspiring football coach who has road-tripped across the Scottish Highlands, but has never been to Wales. Sucker for cliff-hangers and catchy riffs. Known to be a grunger and not to be a stranger.

In a recent interview with Footballfancast, former Premier League keeper Chris Kirkland has urged Liverpool to recruit Burnley defender James Tarkowski as he said, “Obviously there was a lot of talk about Tarkowski at Burnley. I like him, I think he’s decent. You can’t go, ‘well will he do what Van Dijk does?’ Because that’s impossible, nobody does that.”

Tarkowski’s Recent Form In The Premier League

The Manchester-born centre-back has struggled to help his side win any of their seven matches in the Premier League so far. However, he deserves credit for being one of the top performers for the Clarets despite their recent frustrations in terms of results this season.

Tarkowski has featured in five league matches for the Lancashire outfit this term and is averaging 2.0 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 4.0 clearances and 1.0 shots per game in the English top-flight. However, he needs to be more accurate with his ball-distribution as evidenced by his pass success rate of 76.4% in league football (stats via whoscored).

The English centre-half’s current contract at the Turf Moor is set to expire in the summer of 2022, so Sean Dyche will be under no immediate pressure to cash in on him in January. Plus, Burnley have no reason to let him go especially when they look set to be in for a tough season focussed around avoiding relegation to the EFL Championship.

Kirland urges Liverpool to recruit Tarkowski who is seen in the picture
James Tarkowski of Burnley reacts during the Premier League match between Newcastle United and Burnley at St. James Park on October 03, 2020 in Newcastle upon Tyne, England. Sporting stadiums around the UK remain under strict restrictions due to the Coronavirus Pandemic as Government social distancing laws prohibit fans inside venues resulting in games being played behind closed doors. (Photo by Peter Powell – Pool/Getty Images)

What Will The English Defensive Ace Bring To The Table?

Tarkowski has got the strength to be a dominant presence inside his penalty area as he can overpower the opposition to win most of his aerial duels. He can also contribute by scoring the odd goal from a header at the other end.

The two-time England international is adept at reading the danger quickly and possesses the tenacity to earn possession back for his side. He has also developed a habit of making some crucial clearances for his side at the back but needs to be more careful when passing the ball out from defence.

Should The Reds Launch A Move For Tarkowski In January?

A centre-back of Tarkowski’s experience and quality could prove to be a shrewd acquisition for the Reds as he is good enough to fight for a first-team place with the likes of Joe Gomez and Joel Matip. However, Tarkowski might need some time to settle into Jurgen Klopp’s style of possession-oriented football at Anfield.

The Burnley star is used to playing a deep defensive line and often goes long when distributing possession out from the back. Hence, Tarkowski doesn’t fit into Jurgen Klopp’s methods and brand of football at Merseyside. If Liverpool are still looking for a replacement for Virgil Van Dijk, who is sidelined for a long time recovering from his ACL injury, then they should eye another defender and not listen to Kirkland’s advice by settling for the Clarets centre-back.

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