Sean Dyche on Newcastle United target James Tarkowski ahead of trip to St James' Park

Sean Dyche has been delighted with the way James Tarkowski has shut out all the speculation surrounding his future.

By Chris Boden
Thursday, 2nd December 2021, 10:30 pm
James Tarkowski
James Tarkowski

Tarkowski is out of contract in the summer, and is expected to leave on a free transfer, having stated last winter that he had no intention of signing a new deal, as he looks to break back into the England squad, and play regular European football.

He was an ever-present in the Premier League so far this season until Wednesday night at Wolves, where he was suspended after collecting five bookings, but he is likely to return to the side at Newcastle United on Saturday, despite another impressive showing from Nathan Collins, who appears set to step into his shoes on a permanent basis at the end of the season.

Newcastle are one of the clubs who are keen to land Tarkowski, along with long-time suitors West Ham, with Leicester City and Tottenham also linked, but, as Dyche admitted recently, his head hasn't been turned by the almost constant stream of gossip, and is, as he said he would, getting his head down and playing out his contract with the club to the best of his ability.

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Dyche said: "I think Tarky is doing his talking with his performances.

"His professionalism has been outstanding, his will and drive and demand has been faultless.

"His performance levels have followed that, so anything else is out of my hands, because that is the reality of things in this game.

"But I can only comment that professionally he has been outstanding in the way he's gone about it, that's for sure."

Dyche had said last month: "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.

"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."

Newcastle are primed to splash the cash from January after their controversial recent takeover, so is there an element of wishing he had access to similar funds at Burnley?

Dyche smiled: "There's no jealousy, I've been here a long time, and there's very few clubs have less than us, so I'm not really bothered, I know the truth of our players, the quality and I believe totally in these players.

"It's nice to have money in football, quite obviously, that's improved under the new owners - there's still a balance and we brought a few quid in, but there's been more money available than there was previously.

"So, never anything other than focusing on what we do, there will always be clubs with great financial support, and why would you not try and use that? But you still need to use it wisely and bring in players you feel can shift you forward.

"We have our version of that, within our guidelines financially, and other clubs have a much wider reach.

"That's the way it goes, I take great value in what we are as a football club and how it's run."