Newly signed Everton defender James Tarkowski has admitted that he signed for the Toffees because he saw the talent in the squad and believed that they can build something special. The defender also added that the Merseyside derby will be feisty but they will show what they can do.
Following Burnley’s relegation from the Premier League at the end of the 2021/22 season, it saw the club lose quite a few players including the likes of Nick Pope, Nathan Collins and a few others. That also included both James Tarkowski and Ben Mee with the veteran defenders leaving on free-transfers after their contract with the Clarets expired. But while Mee signed for Brentford, Tarkowski signed for Everton in a move that stunned a few fans.
That was despite interest from the likes of Manchester United, West Ham and a few other sides but Tarkowski revealed that it was Frank Lampard that put the move over the line. The defender admitted that the Englishman was a “big factor” as to why he did sign for them as Lampard knew him as a player and what he could offer the team. Not only that, Tarkowski added that the fact that it was Everton played a big part because of their history and the talent the squad possess.
“The manager (when asked why he signed for Everton). He was a big factor. I wanted it done early. I didn’t want to sit around waiting all summer. I wanted to be decisive. As soon as I spoke to the manager, I made up my mind. He knew me as a player, my strengths and my character. He thought I would work well here,” Tarkowski told the Guardian.
“I know the size of the club, being from the north-west. Coming here it feels even bigger than I thought. After last year and the relegation I felt I needed a reset. I saw the talent in the squad and felt something special could be built. That [another relegation struggle] never crossed my mind. I understand the size of this club and where it should be and where it needs to be. I want to be part of that and we’re looking up the table, not down.”
The Toffees have endured a torrid start to the new season with them winless after five games although they’ve drawn the last three fixtures in the league. Yet with a Merseyside derby next on their dance card, it has many believing that the derby could be feisty and a battle between the two. But Tarkowski confessed that it will “be feisty” although he asserted that the team are “not here just to fight” the Reds.
“Any derby is going to be feisty, especially a Merseyside derby, but we are not here just to fight people. We need to show that side of our game and our spirit but also we have a lot of talent in our squad. Just look at some of the goals we have scored already and some of the play we have shown. We are still building on that, we are still working on that and finding our confidence with it. We have shown great grit so far as well as talent and both sides of our game will be required at the weekend,” he added.