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Newcastle can increase their defensive ranks even further by signing James Tarkowski

When Newcastle United were taken over last year, James Tarkowski was tipped to be one of the new owners’ first signings.

The Telegraph reported that he and Jesse Lingard had been earmarked as January recruits. They both had stacks of Premier League experience, and their contract situation meant they wouldn’t cost a fortune.

Fast forward more than six months and neither arrived in the winter window. Newcastle were forced to look elsewhere, being priced out of moves for players who will be available for nothing very soon.

Eddie Howe will once again try to sign Lingard according to reports, and it appears Tarkowski could also be targeted.

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Newcastle World claim that the Burnley defender still features on the club’s list of defensive targets heading into the transfer window. And it’s a deal we should certainly explore.

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Newcastle’s defence has improved massively – but there’s still room for improvement

Before January, Newcastle’s defence was a major problem. We were leaking goals at will, with players simply not performing.

However, 2022 has brought new hope and structure to a once porous backline. Dan Burn arrived, and he’s formed a sensational partnership with Fabian Schar.

They’ve kept Jamaal Lascelles out the team, with the captain spending most of the year so far on the bench. He’s a solid reserve, but Newcastle need to add even more depth.

And that’s why Tarkowski should be snapped up.

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Our other defensive options are Federico Fernandez, who Howe doesn’t seem keen on and is now 33, and Ciaran Clark, who was dropped from the Premier League squad in February. Paul Dummett can also play at centre-back, but that would be more of an emergency option.

James Tarkowski would add serious depth to the Newcastle defence

Tarkowski is much better than all of those options. He should be coming into his peak years as a defender, and has a wealth of Premier League experience.

He’s spent six years as a top flight regular, and even received international recognition with England.

The 29-year-old also strikes you as the right type of personality for this Newcastle squad. He’d be another voice in the dressing room, having captained Burnley on multiple occasions.

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He’s even excelled at Turf Moor despite his contract situation, and received big praise from Sean Dyche before his departure.

“He made it clear he wasn’t going to be signing a new contract and yet he has been fantastic around the training ground and performing well. He assured me he would give everything he has got and he’s delivering,” said Dyche.

“A lot of players don’t perform when their contracts are up.

“I think he deserves a lot of credit. In general this season he has been first class and his attitude has always been outstanding. He is a top professional.”

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When Burn arrived, he didn’t feel like a glamorous signing. But he’s been exceptional. Tarkowski could have a similar impact, and increase the competition in the squad.

For too long we’ve had a settled side with no battles for places. That is changing now, and will only change further this summer.

While our defence has improved, it can still get even better. Adding Tarkowski would be a real boost – especially on a free.

This deal seems like a no brainer.

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