Former Newcastle United striker Andy Cole has called for his former employers to sign Burnley defender James Tarkowski this month as Eddie Howe’s side look to steer clear of any relegation threat as soon as possible.
Speaking to Premier League Productions, as relayed by Chronicle Live, Cole suggested that the Tyneside club would be a good fit for the 29-year-old and backed the defender to make the move to the northeast.
He claimed: “In his (Tarkowski) case, if the Newcastle deal comes up, then why not?
“Financially, they are in a better position than Burnley. If they stay up, he knows they are going to buy better players come next season.
“So, for him, it’s not really a gamble because Burnley are in the exact same position. Looking at Burnley’s form, they look like they are going to go down.
“Newcastle or Burnley? I am looking at it and saying ‘go for it’.”
The centre-back has been linked with a move to St James’ Park before, with Burnley’s chairman Alan Pace telling The Express last month: “We [Burnley] will support him any way that he would like, whether he wants to stay or go. I don’t know about the other side.”
The £19.8m-rated defender is now into the final six months of his contract and is yet to sign an extension at Turf Moor, further suggesting that the Englishman will move on in the near future after six years in Lancashire.
It is no secret that Newcastle will need defensive reinforcements this month, with the Magpies conceding a joint-Premier League high of 42 goals in 19 games.
Although Tarkowski’s current employers are in the same relegation battle as Newcastle, the 29-year-old would be a decent addition for Howe’s side.
He is a colossus in the air, winning 4.9 headers per game – a far higher average than the Magpies’ leader in this regard, Jamaal Lascelles with 3.5. Also, the Burnley defender’s 5.1 clearances per game would theoretically put him second in Howe’s squad.
The defender has been a kingpin for Sean Dyche since the Clarets returned to the Premier League in 2016, making 175 appearances in the top flight over the course of the last five-and-a-half seasons. You would think that such experience would certainly help the Magpies in their quest for survival.
Moreover, the Tyneside club currently have four senior centre-backs and could do with greater depth in that area, as well as extra quality and experience with Howe’s team still very much in a relegation battle. That is something Tarkowski has plenty of experience in overcoming during his time at Turf Moor.