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Aston Villa Are The Favourites To Land This Burnley Defender: What Will He Add To Gerrard’s Team?

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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 report, The Athletic (subscription required) mentioned that Aston Villa are the favourites to land Burnley defender James Tarkowski. It is believed that the Villans are leading the race to acquire the services of the English centre-back this summer.

Tarkowski’s Impressive Form In English Football

Tarkowski enjoyed a solid campaign at Turf Moor but failed to help his team avoid relegation from the Premier League. The 29-year-old has made 37 appearances for the Clarets this season, netting one goal and securing two assists across all fronts.

The Manchester-born talent has given a good account of himself when defending inside his half by averaging 1.8 tackles, 1.4 interceptions and 5.2 clearances per 90 minutes in the Premier League.

However, he has failed to be tidy with his ball distribution after completing 68.8% of his attempted passes in top-flight football (stats via whoscored).

Aston Villa (James Tarkowski)
BURNLEY, ENGLAND – APRIL 21: James Tarkowski of Burnley during the Premier League match between Burnley and Southampton at Turf Moor on April 21, 2022 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Catherine Ivill/Getty Images)
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What Will Tarkowski Add To Aston Villa Boss Steven Gerrard’s Team?

Tarkowski has been a dominant presence for the Clarets on the defensive end of the field. He is a good tackler of the ball and can sense the danger well to earn possession back for his team.

The English talent doesn’t take too many chances when putting his foot through the ball and clearing his lines at the back. However, Tarkowski often goes long with his passing which he needs to address if he wants to settle into Steven Gerrard‘s brand of football at Villa Park.

Standing at 1.85m, the Burnley centre-half can be a strong presence in the air which makes him a decent choice for Aston Villa to pursue this summer. We can expect Tarkowski to add more quality to Gerrard’s defensive department. At the very least, he will increase competition for places within the Villans‘ squad.

Tarkowski has got a wealth of experience in English football and has what it takes to help the West Midlands club push for a top-half finish in the Premier League next season. Therefore, Gerrard should think about going all out to secure the signature of the English defender during this summer transfer period as he could help the Villans cope with injuries better over the next few years.

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