Burnley centre back James Tarkowski as good as his word so far this season

James Tarkowski's form continues to place him among the best centre backs in Europe.
James TarkowskiJames Tarkowski
James Tarkowski

Tarkowski last week told The Telegraph he won't sign another contract at Burnley, as he nears the last18 months of his current deal, having turned down an offer last season, and again in the summer, as West Ham and Leicester City both failed with what would have been club record bids up up to £30m.

He insists he will continue to give his all, but said: "We've had two transfer windows now where the club have decided, for whatever reason, that whatever has been offered on the table hasn't been enough and that's fine because I signed a contract for four-and-a-half years. So I won't whinge or not turn up, I just need to deal with it and get on with my football.

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"But the longer my contract runs down, I feel I gain the control of my career more than Burnley having the control of it, which is what I feel like I need right now."

And statistics back up his claim that he won't be downing tools.

The 27-year-old appeared alongside Liverpool's Virgil van Dijk in Whoscored.com's best team of the top five European leagues last season, and so far this season, he is second in the Premier League in blocking shots, third in aerials won and clearances completed, fifth in duels won, and 12th in interceptions.

Issue number 313 of the CIES Football Observatory Weekly Post presents the 100 players from the 10 best European leagues who won the highest percentage of aerial defensive duels since the start of the season, and Tarkowski comes in 12th in total, ninth in terms of the big five leagues, and fourth in the Premier League

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Chelsea’s Kurt Zouma, who recently scored in a 3-0 win at Turf Moor, tops the table with 26 aerial duels won out of 27 (96.3%).

Berat Djimsiti (Atalanta) and Harry Maguire (Manchester United) complete the podium.

Often criticised by his own supporters, England international Harry Maguire lost only three defensive aerial duels out of 30.

With 90% of defensive aerial duels won, he has the second best ratio in the Premier League ahead of Yerry Mina (Everton), Tarkowski (Burnley), Jonny Evans (Leicester City) and Tyrone Mings (Aston Villa).

The rankings, using the data of InStat, are available here https://football-observatory.com/IMG/sites/b5wp/2020/wp313/en/