James Tarkowski remains 'clear-minded' amid mounting speculation - Sean Dyche

Despite all the 'outside noise', as Sean Dyche would call it, of constant transfer speculation, Dyche believes James Tarkowski's focus has never wavered.

Thursday, 18th November 2021, 5:15 pm
Updated Thursday, 18th November 2021, 5:16 pm
James Tarkowski

And he remains surprised to see the 28-year-old out of the England picture, after winning his only two caps in 2018.

Tarkowski is out of contract at the end of the season, and has been linked with a string of clubs as the January window approaches, despite the likelihood of club and player preferring to see out his deal, rather than do business in the new year.

Newly-rich Newcastle United, long-time admirers West Ham and even Spurs have been urged to sign him in the national media, though Tarkowski has openly spoke of his desire to put his future in his own hands by becoming a free agent.

Despite a constant stream of stories,akin to when Danny Ings was being linked with Real Sociedad and Liverpool seven years ago, Tarkowski hasn't been sidetracked by the gossip.

And Dyche said: "He's been terrific, it's slightly better when you get older, you're a lot more rounded yourself as a person, and in his professionalism, definitely.

"He's had all the rumours before, loads of times, not as much as Ingsy, but he's experienced in that.

"His focus is clear, he's clear-minded in training, he's looking fantastic physically, and he's looking clear-minded in his performances, so long may it continue."

Has Dyche had to speak to him about the speculation?: "I speak to him whenever I need to, which is not very often, he's become very self-motivating for a long time now, he understands his profession for sure, as we do here.

"We have a casual chat now and again, usuaily me just telling him how well he's doing!"

And he remains relaxed about the situation over his contract: "I'll reassure everyone, football changes, and if it does or doesn't, we're happy with that, it's just the way it goes.

"Contracts are a different ball game now from 20 years ago, now people sign a contract and are sold six months later, so all I would say is he's a fantastic professional and has been since he's been here, and his form has been absolutely top drawer.

"I'm still scratching my head about how he doesn't get in the England set up, but that's one of those challenges for Gareth, and he has a lot of good players to pick from.

"That's my focus with him, and he keeps doing the business."