Leicester City signing this proven English star would fill the huge void left by Harry Maguire

Tarkowski would be the perfect replacement for Maguire at Leicester

According to the Daily Mail, Leicester City have identified Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski as a potential replacement for Harry Maguire, who has joined Manchester United.

The transfer saga involving Maguire grabbed the headlines in the tabloids on numerous occasions over the course of the summer transfer window and it has finally reached its climax following a world-record £80million move.

Tarkowski, though, is not the only centre-back to have been lined up by the Foxes, with the same report claiming that Brendan Rodgers also has Bournemouth star Nathan Ake on his shortlist of potential replacements.

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The Daily Mail, however, claims that Burnley have pointed to the massive £50million release clause in Tarkowski’s contract, although the Foxes are hopeful of securing a deal for a fee of around £40million. Ake, on the other hand, is expected to cost even higher, with Bournemouth not willing to sell their prized asset at the back. 

Tarkowski, 26, has been one of the most consistent centre-backs in the Premier League over the past couple of seasons, having established himself as a first-team regular at Turf Moor following the departure of Michael Keane to Everton back in 2017. 

The towering Manchester-born defender, who rose to prominence with Brentford in the Championship prior to his move to Burnley, has made a total of 103 appearances for the Clarets, 85 of which have come in the Premier League. 

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As a matter of fact, Tarkowski’s rock-solid central defensive partnership with Ben Mee was instrumental in guiding Sean Dyche’s side to a Europa League spot in the 2017-18 season. 

The 26-year-old’s stellar run of form at the Lancashire club has also put him on the radar of England boss Gareth Southgate and the centre-back will be expected to add a lot more to his 2 senior Three Lions cap should a move to a bigger club materialize for him this summer. 

To put things into perspective, it is imperative to say that Leicester City need to bring in a replacement for Maguire this summer, simply because their existing central defensive options aren’t the most reliable ones.

And Tarkowski, who is more or less similar to Maguire in his style of play, should be an affordable alternative for the Foxes, who have already spent big to secure the services of Ayoze Perez and Youri Tielemans this summer. 

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Rodgers has the likes of Wes Morgan, Jonny Evans, Caglar Soyuncu and Filip Benkovic at his disposal but the advancing years of Morgan and Evans, as well as the relative inexperience of the latter duo, definitely epitomizes the need for bringing in reinforcements. 

Standing at 6ft.1 inch with a robust frame, Tarkowski is not as tall and towering as someone like Maguire but he is more than capable of matching the England stalwart in terms of physicality, brute force and supreme aerial ability.

In fact, a statistical comparison of the two old-school English defenders shows that there is not a lot to choose between the two players.

Maguire averaged an impressive 3.8 aerial duels, 4.9 clearances, 1 tackle and 1.2 interceptions per game in the Premier League the last term, while Tarkowski bettered those numbers with 4.8 aerial duels, 6.7 clearances, 2 tackles and 1.2 interceptions per game. 

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The differences in those numbers are largely down to the stylistic difference and the quality of the two teams in question but it is pretty clear from the numbers that Tarkowski is capable of filling in Maguire’s shoes at Leicester City. 

The 26-year-old has proven himself to be a very calm, composed and reliable centre-back at Burnley and Leicester should hardly have any doubts regarding his abilities.

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With that in mind, Leicester should not hesitate to go all out in their pursuit of the Burnley star this summer.