Frank Lampard is closing in on his first summer signing for Everton as he looks to strengthen his squad before next season.
That’s according to Journalist Ryan Taylor, who tweeted that “Everton also hopeful of wrapping up the signing of James Tarkowski on a free transfer after submitting formal contract offer.”
Tarkowski has been sought after since Burnley’s relegation, with Newcastle United and Leeds United also interested in the defender.
If a deal is wrapped up, it would represent Lampard’s first summer signing at the club and could set them back around £100k-per-week in wages.
Everton supporters will be hoping that they don’t endure another campaign like last season’s, in which they avoided relegation by the skin of their teeth with a frantic 3-2 win over Crystal Palace.
Lampard’s team conceded 66 goals in the Premier League, the fifth-worst in the division, and the defence is the obvious area for improvement over the summer. the likes of Mason Holgate and Ben Godfrey didn’t have great seasons and Tarkowski would certainly be an upgrade on the latter.
The signing of Tarkowski would go a long way to alleviate this defensive problem ahead of next season. The defender held a WhoScored ranking of 6.97 last season, ranking him first in the Burnley squad.
Compared to positional peers in the big five leagues, Tarkowski’s stats are outstanding. The 29-year-old ranks in the top 1% in both blocks (2.67 per 90) and aerials won (4.95 per 90), while also ranking in the top 3% for clearances made (6.26 per 90).
Compare these to Godfrey’s stats from last season and it’s clear to see who would be the better player. the Everton centre back only made 2.13 blocks per match, 4.35 clearances, and only 2.26 aerials won per match.
These stats prove that Tarkowski would be an excellent addition to the Everton squad for next season, especially on a free transfer which would allow Lampard to redirect funds to other areas of the team.
The England international was once described as a “rock” by Alex James and judging by his performances for Burnley last season, even though they were relegated, the statement is spot on.
An interesting summer lies ahead for Everton and Lampard, where recruitment needs to be absolutely spot on if he hopes to remain in a job. Signing Tarkowski could go a long way to pleasing the supporters.