Gareth Southgate Considering Tarkowski For England
Gareth Southgate is considering calling James Tarkowski into his England squad for the friendlies against Holland and Italy as he attempts to solve a potential defensive crisis, Southgate watched Tarkowski and team-mate Nick Pope, in last Saturday’s victory over Everton. Tarkowski out-performed Everton defender Michael Keane, who has suffered a disappointing season after leaving Burnley.
Southgate is also mindful of the fact Gary Cahill has been out of favour at Chelsea, Phil Jones missed Manchester United’s victory over Crystal Palace through injury. Whilst Joe Gomez, who impressed for England against Germany and Brazil, has not started a game for Liverpool for over a month.
That means Southgate has a gap to fill in his three-man defence, as he attempts to find the right man to play alongside John Stones and Harry Maguire, whose places in England’s World Cup squad are assured. It appears unlikely he will go back to United’s Chris Smalling, whose passing ability he questioned.
Tarkowski has been in superb form for Burnley this season and it is no coincidence that the Clarets have failed to win all nine matches he has missed. Having started his career at Oldham Athletic, before moving to Brentford and eventually joining Burnley in 2016, he is yet to represent England at any level.
Speaking about the prospect of breaking into the England squad in time to travel to the World Cup James Tarkowski said, “Everyone wants to get to a World Cup so it would be a good time to break in to the squad. I’m not worried about it because I’m happy enough playing football for Burnley week in week out.
If it comes then obviously I would be delighted to represent my country, but I’m just happy to be back out there playing football again. It’s out of my control now, there’s nothing you can do but focus on your own performance and then wait for the call.
We’re seventh in the league so there is no surprise that the England manager is here watching players. We will have to see what happens over the next couple of weeks, as there are plenty of lads in good form at our place. There are so many people out there who could get a shout so you have just got to concentrate on your club football for now and if it happens it happens.”