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Burnley signing this 30-year-old veteran star would serve them well if Tarkowski departs

Craig Dawson

Why Craig Dawson would be a good signing for Burnley

According to Sky Sports, Burnley could reignite their interest in Watford centre-back Craig Dawson if they end up losing in-demand defender James Tarkowski this summer.

The 30-year-old had been on the Clarets’ radar last summer amidst interest from Leicester City in Tarkowski’s services. However, with Tarkowski going nowhere, Dawson eventually departed West Brom to make a return to the Premier League with Watford. (h/t Sky Sports)

Meanwhile, Dawson’s future at Watford remains up in the air following the club’s relegation from the top-flight at the end of last season. The veteran wasn’t in the squad for the Hornets’ Championship opener against Middlesbrough last week.

Profile

Craig Dawson started his career at non-league club Radcliffe Borough before featuring for his hometown club Rochdale in League One and League Two. The towering central defender was snapped up by West Brom in the summer of 2011 and after spending time on loan at Bolton Wanderers, Dawson established himself as a key cog in the club’s backline.

Craig Dawson thinks Watford have enough 'big characters' to ensure Premier League survival | Watford Observer
Craig Dawson boasts 182 PL appearances for West Brom and Watford (Getty Images)

The 30-year-old made over 200 appearances for the Baggies across eight seasons, scoring 15 times, before departing for Watford back in 2019. Dawson made 29 appearances in the Premier League last term as the Hornets suffered relegation.

Dawson has the experience to replace Tarkowski

Tarkowski has once again emerged as a hot property this summer, with the England international attracting interest from Leicester City and West Ham. Burnley have so far managed to keep the suitors at bay with their mammoth £50m asking price but Craig Dawson is on the club’s shortlist should the worst come to worst. (h/t Sky Sports)

Truth be told, Burnley would find it incredibly difficult to find an ideal replacement for Tarkowski, both in terms of quality and experience. A veteran of 182 Premier League appearances for West Brom and Watford combined, Dawson is one of the very few players who tick both boxes.

Watford's Craig Dawson bid rejected by West Brom | Football News | Sky Sports
Burnley could reignite their interest in Dawson if they lose Tarkowski (Getty Images)

Burnley would need to bring in another central defender to partner Ben Mee at the heart of the defence, with Ben Gibson currently on loan at Norwich City after struggling to impress Sean Dyche. Kevin Long offers an experienced option but his long-term future remains up in the air, with the Irishman’s contract set to expire in 2021.

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Verdict

Craig Dawson wouldn’t represent an upgrade on either Tarkowski or Mee by any means but he still has a few years remaining in his prime, thus making him a suitable replacement.

The 30-year-old fits the bill as a tried and tested option in the Premier League, meaning it should be a no-brainer for Burney to go back in the market for his services if the need arises.

Jean-Clair Todibo during his time on loan with Schalke (Getty Images)

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