Why Manchester United must pursue James Tarkowski in January
According to The Athletic (h/t Mirror), James Tarkowski was a target for Manchester United this summer. However, the club did not pursue any central defenders despite the need for one. They could return for the player in the future as the report suggests.
The 27-year-old English centre-back started his youth career at Blackburn Rovers in 1999 but moved to Oldham after 10 years, with a spell at Maine Road FC in between.
Promoted to the senior side in 2011, he went on to play 89 games for them before moving to Brentford in 2014. In the two seasons he spent there, he made 74 appearances, scored 4 goals and provided 5 assists (source – Transfermarkt).
Ever since he joined Burnley, he has been one of their best players. He has been rock-solid at the back, often providing the last line of defence. So far, he has made 145 appearances for the Clarets, scoring 5 and assisting 3. Tarkowski chose to represent England despite having the choice to play for Poland. He has two appearances for the Three Lions so far.
Manchester United should return for Tarkowski in January
While last season’s problems were papered over by the effervescent Bruno Fernandes, the same problems have come to the fore again this season. In 3 league games, Man Utd have let in 11 goals out of which 6 came in the Spurs game.
Shambolic would be a nice way of putting it as the likes of Maguire, Lindelof and Bailly have failed to provide any sort of defensive solidity. The glaring need for a centre-back fell on deaf ears as United are still stuck with their sub-par crop of defensive players.
James Tarkowski has been a rock for Burnley in the last couple of seasons as Burnley have built a reputation of being one of the most robust teams to break down. How Manchester United wish they could say the same about themselves.
The no-nonsense defender may not be the most high-profile player but he is one who does his job to perfection. United need someone exactly like that.
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At 27, he is entering his peak years and that could benefit a team like United who are leaking goals left and right. They should try to prise him away at the earliest, which is in January.