There is more to come from James Tarkowski after the defender made his England bow during the international break, believes Burnley manager Sean Dyche.
Tarkowski’s outstanding club form earned his first international call-up by Gareth Southgate and the centre-back started Tuesday’s 1-1 draw with Italy at Wembley.
Although Tarkowski conceded a late penalty – following a VAR review – for a foul on Federico Chiesa, Southgate described the 25-year-old as “good on the ball” and “a real plus”.
Tarkowski and Burnley face West Brom in the Premier League on Saturday, with Dyche predicting further development for the defender.
“There’s more to come from him, I believe, both for us and England possibly,” Dyche told reporters on Thursday. “But I think he’s a very good player.
“I was really pleased. I don’t think it’s easy anyway to play for England. I don’t think it’s easy to play for England on your debut at home. I don’t think it’s easy to play in a back three and I don’t think it’s easy to play on the left of a three.
“When you add all of that in, with the new group, I thought he was very good. Nice and calm, played steady, organised when he needed to be. He did the basics very well and just kept his simplicity.
“I know how hard it is to pick a team. I think he’s got a chance [of going to the World Cup], let’s wait and see.”
— England (@England) March 27, 2018
Tarkowski was not the only Burnley representative, although Nick Pope was not used against Italy or Netherlands, the goalkeeper having thrived in the absence of club captain Tom Heaton, who has been out since September with a shoulder injury.
Heaton is closing in on his return, however, with Pope – whose save percentage is second only to Manchester United’s David de Gea in the Premier League this season – now set to battle for selection for both club and country.
“Tom’s really close to getting back to being involved,” Dyche said. “He’s going really well, he’s feeling really good.
“Popey stayed clear-minded when he was working with the group he was last season, when he wasn’t involved at all. We did assure him that he was growing into what we do.
“At the end of last season we used him on the bench and he got a feel of it. This season when he’s been called upon he was ready, and he has delivered very well.”
— James Tarkowski (@Tarky19) March 24, 2018
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