James Tarkowski excelling in Michael Keane’s almighty void

Considering their incredibly unflattering fixture list and horrendous away form last season, Burnley have enjoyed a surprisingly solid start to the new campaign, claiming four points on the road against the two sides who finished 2016/17 at the Premier League’s summit.

Crucial to that has been the form of 24-year-old centre-back James Tarkowski, who has done a superfluous job of stepping into Michael Keane’s almighty shoes following the England international’s transfer to Everton earlier this summer.

Indeed, Tarkowski was integral in the shock 3-2 over Chelsea and put in another massive performance yesterday afternoon as Sean Dyche’s side just about held on against Tottenham at Wembley Stadium, before grabbing a last-minute equaliser through summer signing Chris Wood.

The Englishman made a whopping four blocks and eight clearances, while winning the most tackles and most aerial duels of any player on the pitch in an action-packed defensive display, but also made himself a nuisance at the other end with three efforts at goal.

Of course, Tarkowski is some way from being as promising as Keane, easily one of the best centre-backs in the Premier League last season. But if his exceptional imitation of the Everton man continues until the end of the campaign, it certainly wouldn’t be surprising to see some of the Premier League’s top clubs circle him next summer.

Arsenal and Liverpool are particularly in need of old-fashioned, sturdy options at the heart of defence and considering how modest Keane’s price-tag was compared to some of the other fees being bandied around this summer, not to mention Dyche’s impressive track record when it comes to developing defenders, Turf Moor could be the perfect place to do their centre-back shopping in 2018.