Why West Ham should go all out to sign Burnley’s James Tarkowski
After a slow start to the new Premier League season, West Ham are back on track and starting to garner some momentum. They defeated a listless Manchester United side 2-0 at the London Stadium on Sunday, thanks to goals from Andriy Yarmolenko and Aaron Cresswell.
Despite a lot of positives to take from the last couple of weeks, Manuel Pellegrini should be concerned with his team’s defending.
The centre-back pairing of Issa Diop and Angelo Ogbonna has done a fair job but the Hammers need to be aware of the fact that the latter is already 31 and isn’t a completely reliable defender.
Fabian Balbuena has an error written in his game, while Winston Reid will return next month after a lengthy injury layoff. Goncalo Cardoso is just 18 and not yet ready to feature in West Ham’s senior side.
To put things into perspective, the east Londoners must sign a defender in January to partner Diop if they are to challenge for Europe. With that in mind, Pellegrini should make a move for Burnley’s James Tarkowski.
James Tarkowski, 26, who was linked with West Ham last year, has been mightily impressive for Burnley over the last couple of seasons.
In fact, he has been a consistent performer for the Clarets ever since signing from Brentford in 2016. His rock-solid displays for Sean Dyche’s side has also seen him earn two international caps under Gareth Southgate.
The Manchester-born centre-back is ready to take the next step up in his career and West Ham should offer the defender the chance to prove himself at the highest level.
A strong tackler and a smart reader of the game, Tarkowski is a no-nonsense defender who’ll add much-needed solidity and robustness to West Ham’s defence. He is good in the air, has solid top-flight experience under his belt, and his best years are certainly ahead of him.
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However, the England international needs to improve his passing and distribution skills but overall, he could seamlessly slot into Pellegrini’s system at West Ham.
Signing Tarkowski in January would represent a massive statement from West Ham. He could be the perfect partner for the young Diop in central defence, whilst being an upgrade on Ogbonna. Therefore, the Hammers shouldn’t hesitate to reignite their interest in the Burnley star.