James Tarkowski: Everton getting ‘Rolls-Royce’ centre-back better than England trio Mings, Coady and Maguire

The defender is “ridiculously good value” for Everton as Frank Lampard moves to bring in first player of the summer window.

Everton are poised to make James Tarkowski their first signing of the transfer window as Frank Lampard aims to bolster the heart of his defence.

The 29-year-old is available on a free transfer after his contract at relegated Burnley expired at the end of the season.

Reports suggest the centre-back has agreed personal terms with the Blues and is set for a medical.

With Everton’s current financial situation, it could prove to be a massive piece of business for them this summer, and according to Chris Boden from the Burnley Express, Everton are getting an outstanding player.

“It’s ridiculously good value,” Chris tells LiverpoolWorld.

“You go back a couple of years ago and he pretty much made his thoughts clear: I’m going to see out my contract and move on.

James Tarkowski is deal is “ridiculously good value”. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images
James Tarkowski is deal is “ridiculously good value”. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images
James Tarkowski is deal is “ridiculously good value”. Photo: Jan Kruger/Getty Images

“Burnley even turned down bids of up to £30m from West Ham and Leicester. You might say he’s two years older now but if anything, his form in that time has been even better.

“He’s been as good as his word. He said I’m going to give my all for Burnley and then I’m going to go and further my career, which a lot of people respected and accepted.”

Tarkowski played a major part in the Burnley side after the departure of Michael Keane to Everton, making 35 or more appearances in the Premier League in each of the last four seasons for the Clarets.

Burnley secured European football for the first time in 51 years when they finished 7th in the top tier of English football with Tarkowski in the back four.

The Clarets may have been relegated this season and questions may be asked about signing a player who went down but defensively they performed better than some teams in the top half.

“Burnley conceded fewer goals than Man United this season, for example,” Chris continues.

“His [Tarkowski’s] form the season before last, some statistics had him down as one of the best centre-halves in Europe alongside Virgil van Dijk.

“Now, I’m not saying he’s in that league… He’s been better than Maguire, put it that way, for two years.

“A lot of people think what on earth is going on that he can’t get back in that England squad because his form merits it.”

The former Oldham man spent eight years at Burnley after joining for £3 million from Brentford in 2016.

Burnley initially wanted him before that move but couldn’t afford the £350k asking price, leaving Tarkowski free to head down south.

Eventually, that move would materialise, and he now leaves Burnley in the highest esteem.

“As soon as Keane went to Everton for £25m, he’s never looked back. I didn’t think he was as good a player as Keane, but now I think he’s usurped him.

“He’s the best centre half we’ve seen at Burnley in my lifetime”