Burnley defender James Tarkowski ‘disappointed’ at England snub, but vows to prove Gareth Southgate wrong


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James Tarkowski has expressed his ‘disappointment’ at not being included in the England squad for the upcoming matches against the Czech Republic and Bulgaria.

The Burnley defender’s last cap – his second for his country – came last September against Switzerland but hernia problems and a difficult run for the Clarets at the end of the 2018/19 campaign saw him drop out of the picture.

James Tarkowski: Burnley

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James Tarkowski’s last cap for England came in September 2018

However, even after a strong end to that season on a personal level and with Burnley sitting pretty seventh in the Premier League table, Tarkowski continues to be overlooked.

The defender rebuffed interest from Leicester to stay at Turf Moor over the summer, after King Power chiefs turned to Tarkowski as the replacement for Harry Maguire, who joined Manchester United in a big-money move.

“I am disappointed. I want to be involved,” the 26-year-old said.

“I feel like I’m playing really well, I’m at full fitness levels, playing every minute possible in games and I feel like I’m performing the best I have done for Burnley.

“But it’s the England manager’s decision to pick the players he feels suits his system so I’m not going to cry about it and get all upset.

“I’m just going to crack on with my game and enjoy myself when I’m playing.”

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Tarkowski has not spoken to anyone from the England set-up since being left out of the squad for the Nations League finals in the summer.

England boss Gareth Southgate has selected Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings and young Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori in his squad for the two Euro 2020 qualifiers.

Tarkowski will continue to push his case, adding: “I’m happy with my performances and that’s all I can do.

“I’m a footballer and I want to play football, whether that’s being a part of the squad for England, starting for England or playing for Burnley.

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“I’m desperate to be back involved in the England squad but for now I’m happy in the Burnley one.

“We’re performing well as a team and I want to improve on my own performances.

“I’m not going to starting whinging about not being involved, it’s the manager’s job to pick the players.

“He’s decided that he doesn’t want me in the squad so that’s fair enough.”


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Chris Wright

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