In a recent interview with Football Insider, ex-Leeds United forward Noel Whelan tipped West Ham United to land Burnley centre-half James Tarkowski as he said, “When you start getting players running down contracts to a year then you start getting worried as a football club.
“Burnley are a football club that really can’t afford to let a player of that quality go on a free transfer.
“I think that will force their hands, that’s a little signal to Burnley as well that if you can’t pay him the wages that he wants then him moving club is imminent. It’s as simple as that.
“You don’t really get too many football players coming out publicly and saying that.
“He’s obviously made his mind up that he wants out and you know he wants a fresh start and a fresh challenge somewhere and West Ham seem to be the leaders in that race.
“This could be final season for James Tarkowski because financially I’m not sure whether they can match what he wants.”
Tarkowski’s Season At The Turf Moor Thus Far
Tarkowski has endured a tough season with the Clarets so far as he has struggled to help his team grind out any wins in the Premier League. Despite Burnley’s poor run of results, the English defensive ace has done well to continue performing at a high level on the defensive end of the field.
The 27-year-old deserves a little bit of credit for averaging 2.0 tackles, 0.8 interceptions, 4.0 clearances and 1.0 shots per 90 minutes in the English first division. However, he can still improve his accuracy when distributing the ball after completing 76.4% of his attempted passes in the top tier of England (stats via whoscored).
The Manchester-born centre-back will embark upon the final year of his contract at the Turf Moor next season, so the Clarets will have no choice but to consider cashing in on him at the end of this campaign or else risk losing him for free in the summer of 2022.
What Will The English Defender Add To David Moyes’ Team?
Tarkowski is often quick to sense the danger and can make some important clearances for his side when required. He is also not afraid to go in for tackles and can time them well to earn the ball back inside his half.
Standing at 1.85m, the Burnley centre-half can use his strong frame to win a lot of aerial duels at the back but as mentioned earlier, he needs to be more careful when interchanging possession with his teammates. Plus, the English powerhouse can also score the odd goal from time to time and can be considered as a potent goal-threat from the indirect set-pieces in the attacking third.
Tarkowski has established himself amongst the best centre-backs in Premier League football by giving a good account of himself under Sean Dyche’s stewardship. The Burnley first-teamer will add some bite and steel to the West Ham backline and will increase competition for places within Moyes’ squad if the Hammers can win the race to recruit him next summer.
At 27, Tarkowski is playing at his peak, so Moyes will fancy getting the best out of him in the coming seasons. He is good enough to rival Issa Diop, Fabian Balbuena and Angelo Ogbonna for a regular first-team spot at the London Stadium.