Everton have had a disappointing season in the Premier League with the side narrowly avoiding a drop into the Championship by just four points, and Frank Lampard will now be tasked with identifying players that can improve the squad ahead of next season.
The Toffees have struggled at both ends of the pitch, but their defensive performances have come under harsh criticism over the campaign, with the side conceding the fifth-most goals in the league and 23 more than they scored.
In fact, Everton centre-back Michael Keane has come under scrutiny for his inconsistency and poor performances in the back-line this season, with Gabby Agbonlahor branding the defender “absolutely dreadful” in an interview with Football Insider.
With that being said, the Toffees now have the best opportunity to go into the market and sign upgrades to improve the defence this summer and one player who has been heavily linked is recently relegated Burnley’s James Tarkowski.
The centre-back is available on a free transfer this summer and could be the second coming of Phil Jagielka if Everton can secure a deal for the player who was hailed “outstanding” by Sean Dyche.
This season, Tarkowski has been the highest-rated player in the entire Burnley squad according to SofaScore, and it’s not hard to see why when you look at his overall performance for the club.
He’s also won the large majority of his aerial and ground duels combined (68%) and been successful in completing the majority of his dribbles (71%), proving that he is a solid defender with the capabilities to offer an attacking threat too.
Not only that Tarkowski ranks first for blocked shots, first for pass interceptions, and second for aerial duels out of every player in the Premier League so the signing would be a major coup for Everton whilst saving millions in the process as he is currently out of contract.
A solid and reliable defender who brings an old-fashioned approach to his defending, it’s clear to see why he evokes memories of Jagielka. He wasn’t blessed with the most pace but used his reading and understanding of the game to outmuscle and outwit Premier League strikers.
Therefore, Farhad Moshiri and Frank Lampard must secure a deal for Tarkowski. They cannot pass on the opportunity to sign such an experienced defender that could massively improve their squad and their defensive record next season.