Burnley defender James Tarkowski has confessed that he believes England’s selectors have forgotten just how well he performed last season for the Clarets. The 27-year-old played a key part as Sean Dyche’s team finished in the top half of the table with one of the best defensive records in England.
While Burnley only managed to squeeze into the top half of the Premier League table on the final day, few would deny that the Clarets didn’t deserve their place there. Sean Dyche’s team was one of the most impressive ones throughout the entire season despite struggling with serious financial issues after the lockdown. That was thanks to a staunch regard to defense with Nick Pope and James Tarkowski playing key roles although the latter missed out on a place in England’s UEFA Nations League squad.
That was despite the 27-year-old topping the stats for England defenders and making Whoscored.com’s European team of the season. It has seen Tarkowski admit that he feels England might have forgotten about with the Burnley man last playing for the Three Lions in 2018. He further confessed that given his performances after lockdown, he expected to make the cut for Gareth Southgate’s team.
“I do feel a little bit like I’ve been forgotten about. And that’s nothing against the lads who have been in front of me because they’ve probably had all really good seasons themselves. I just felt I had a really good season and the statistics looked in my favour. I was in the team that kept the second-most clean sheets, so defensively I was right up there,” Tarkowski told the Telegraph.
“I expected to be closer than I was. Other squads, I had accepted I probably wouldn’t be involved because it was the same squad, but after the break and who was missing, maybe I just expected to be in a bit more than previously. This one was more disappointing than others.”
The 27-year-old has been reportedly subject to a £20million plus bid from West Ham United with Leicester City also looking to rekindle their interest in the centerback. However, while no move has materialized at the moment, Tarkowski admitted that he is looking to play at the highest level possible. The Englishman did not directly address his future at Turf Moore but did reveal that if a chance came for him to test himself against the best, then that’s something he won’t turn down.
“For me, with the age I am coming into my prime years and wanting to progress, I want to go for the top level. I want to play at the best level I can, club football and internationally. I want to test myself against the best. We will see what happens. I just want to play at the top level and if that opportunity came I don’t think it is something I could turn down. Champions League and playing for your country, playing in big tournaments, is playing at the top level, so that’s what I would want to do if the opportunities came,” he added.