Former Liverpool goalkeeper Chris Kirkland has urged the Reds to sign James Tarkowski from Burnley as cover for the injured Virgil van Dijk.
In an exclusive interview with Football FanCast, former Liverpool star Chris Kirkland has advised the reigning Premier League champions to consider making a move for Burnley’s James Tarkowski in the January transfer window.
Liverpool’s campaign has been rocked with a serious injury to star man and defensive mainstay Virgil van Dijk. The Dutchman is unlikely to feature again in the 2020/21 campaign, and with the club letting Dejan Lovren leave last summer, they have been left short on numbers at the back.
Joel Matip, despite all his positive qualities, is prone to injuries and as a result, has hardly featured in the ongoing campaign, leaving Jurgen Klopp to look up to defensive midfielder Fabinho to fill in the blanks. And when the Brazilian succumbed to an injury of his own, the manager has turned to the inexperienced duo of Rhys Williams and Nathaniel Phillips.
And while the youngsters have given a fairly good account of themselves so far, given the long, gruelling campaign and Liverpool’s title ambitions, adding another centre-half in the winter transfer window, who can add a bit more experience and quality to the side would make a lot of sense.
The likes of Diego Carlos and Milan Skriniar have been mentioned as potential targets for the Merseyside giants heading into the January window. Kirkland, though, has suggested a new name that the Reds must consider in order to plug the gap left by van Dijk’s injury.
“Obviously there was a lot of talk about Tarkowski at Burnley. I like him, I think he’s decent. You can’t go, ‘well will he do what Van Dijk does?’ Because that’s impossible, nobody does that.”
A no-nonsense defender, Tarkowski has made quite a name for himself at Burnley since joining the club in 2016. So far, the 27-year-old has racked up 149 appearances for the Clarets, playing an integral role in enabling them to maintain their Premier League status year after year.
The two-time capped England international came close to leaving Turf Moor this past summer, amid serious interest from the likes of West Ham United, who reportedly fell short of Burnley’s £50 million valuation. The Hammers, though, remain interested in Tarkowski and could return for him in January.
So, if Liverpool do heed Kirkland’s advice and decide to make a move for the 27-year-old, they will likely face competition from David Moyes & co. It remains to be seen whether the Reds decide to delve into the market for a new centre-back or decide to back the young guns available at Klopp’s disposal for the rest of the campaign.