Everton defender named in WhoScored’s 'Team of the Year' alongside Virgil van Dijk

Everton: The defender has been in good form this season and played every single game of the league season.

Everton’s James Tarkowski has been named in WhoScored’s inaugural ‘Team of the Year’ after a brilliant campaign.

The 31-year-old has been an ever-present for Everton since joining the club on a free transfer from Burnley in 2022. Since then, he’s started every single game across the last two seasons and he’s been a key figure at the back.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

He has helped contribute greatly towards their defensive performances this season as Everton registered the fourth-best defence in the league. Alongside the talented breakout star Jarrad Branthwaite, the pair have formed one of the best partnerships in the league. And his average across the season is 7.08 - which shows how well he’s performed across 38 games.

The only other centre-back to post a higher figure is Liverpool’s Virgil van Dijk (7.15) who partners him in this fictional XI. Also in the defence is Trent Alexander-Arnold (7.12) Josko Gvardiol (7.03) and Alphonso Areola (6.96) who has impressed under David Moyes. Of course, Jordan Pickford has been brilliant behind Tarkowski, managing the second-most clean sheets behind David Raya.

In midfield, Rodri (7.62) Cole Palmer (7.48) Eberechi Eze (7.45) Phil Foden (7.55) and Bukayo Saka (7.67) make up a truly exciting midfield and attack. Erling Haaland (7.40) - the league’s top scorer for a second successful campaign - leads the attack to round-off a brilliant XI.

Looking closer at Tarkowski’s season, his figures are truly impressive. Following the win over Sheffield United, Tarkowkski became the first player in Premier League history to make more than 50 blocks in three consecutive seasons. Plus, he registered the most aerial battles won this season with 151 ahead of second-placed Dominic Calvert-Lewin.

Hide Ad
Hide Ad

On top of that, only two players have managed more last-man tackles, only one player has managed more clearances and only three managed more interceptions. Not only defensively, he’s been great on the ball; he has completed the most passes for the Blues (1,181), while registering the most passes into the final third for his side (125) and making the most progressive passes (128).

Comment Guidelines

National World encourages reader discussion on our stories. User feedback, insights and back-and-forth exchanges add a rich layer of context to reporting. Please review our Community Guidelines before commenting.