West Ham signing James Tarkowski would signal a great start to Pellegrini’s reign

According to reports in The Mirror, West Ham United are targeting a summer move for Burnley centre-back James Tarkowski.

What’s the word, then?

Well, The Mirror says that new Irons boss Manuel Pellegrini has been handed a £75m transfer war-chest following his appointment as David Moyes’ successor on Tuesday, and Tarkowski is on his and the club’s list of targets – another it has been confirmed exclusively that another reported target won’t be arriving at the London Stadium.

It is no surprise that a new central defender could be a priority for the east London outfit seeing as they had the joint-worst defensive record in the Premier League this season – 69 goals conceded in their 38 fixtures – and with Jose Fonte leaving for China in February and James Collins set to follow him out when his contract expires next month.

The Mirror adds that another centre-back in Winston Reid could also go following a number of injury issues in recent years.

How has Tarkowski done this season?

He was brilliant, and his impressive performances – which included him dominating Marko Arnatuovic in the Clarets’ 3-0 win at the London Stadium in March – at the back helped Burnley secure a seventh-place finish in the Premier League that ensured they qualified for the Champions League.

According to WhoScored.com, the 25-year-old, who made his England debut in March thanks to his form with the Clarets, showed his strength in the air by winning 147 of the 209 aerial duels he faced in 31 top flight appearances.

He also won 46 tackles, and made 59 blocks and a remarkable 219 clearances.

Would he be a good signing for West Ham?

He certainly would be, yes.

The 25-year-old showed how good he can be from a defensive point of view for Burnley this season, and he would likely thrive in the Irons backline if Manuel Pellegrini gets them more organised ahead of the 2018/19 campaign.

Tarkowski may not be the best on the ball, but he isn’t afraid to put his body on the line for his team when it comes to tackles and blocks, and he would become an instant fans’ favourite with the London Stadium faithful because of that fact.