Leeds United are interested in a deal to bring James Tarkowski to Elland Road in the summer transfer window.
That’s according to a report by the Daily Mail, who claimed that, with the 29-year-old’s contract at Burnley coming to an end later this month, Victor Orta is keen on the idea of bringing him to LS11 on a free transfer.
Considering just how impressive Tarkowski has been for Burnley since joining them in February 2016, and with Leeds conceding 79 goals in the Premier League this season – the second-worst record in the top flight, with only bottom club Norwich City shipping more – it is not difficult to understand why Orta would be interested in a deal for the 29-year-old this summer.
Indeed, over his four full Premier League campaigns prior to 2021/22, the £19.8m-rated defender averaged extraordinary seasonal SofaScore match ratings of 7.13 in 2017/18, 7.04 in 2018/19, 7.14 in 2019/20 and 7.09 in 2020/21 – a remarkable feat considering that the Clarets finished seventh, 15th, 10th and 17th in these respective seasons.
Furthermore, despite Burnley’s relegation from the top flight in 2021/22, the £70k-per-week talent still impressed over his 35 Premier League appearances. He helped his side to keep seven clean sheets, scoring one goal and providing two assists, along with making 1.4 interceptions, 1.8 tackles, 5.2 clearances and winning 6.9 duels (at a success rate of 68%) per game.
These returns saw the player who Andy Jones dubbed “unbelievable” average a SofaScore match rating of 7.15, ranking him not only as the Clarets’ best performer in the league but also as the seventh-best defender in the entire top flight.
As such, it is clear to see that Tarkowski would greatly improve Jesse Marsch’s options at the back, particularly following the Whites’ all-but-confirmed signing of Red Bull Salzburg right-back Rasmus Kristensen.
Indeed, with the 29-year-old having typically operated on the right of Burnley’s centre-back pairing, the prospect of the twice-capped England international lining up alongside the Kristensen in the Whites’ backline will certainly be an incredibly exciting one for both Marsch and the Elland Road faithful. Therefore, we believe that Orta must do all he can to try and seal Tarkowski’s signing this summer.