Everton defender James Tarkowski has been named as one of the most decisive players in the Premier League this season.
The 30-year-old joined Everton on a free transfer from Burnley last summer and was integral in the club maintaining top-flight status.
Indeed, his performances have now seen him named in The Guardian’s most ‘clutch’ starting XI for the 2022/23 Premier League season.
Defining the word ‘clutch’, The Guardian state: “It’s an ability to produce at the most important moment, qualities that can be picked up in statistics but not necessarily defined by numbers alone.”
Without doubt, such a definition accurately describes Tarkowski’s displays in an Everton shirt over the past 12 months, with the Guardian describing him as a ‘human wall at the back’.
The England international’s numbers back this up too, with Tarkowski making just shy of 200 clearances, blocked 78 attempts on Everton’s goal and made 51 interceptions.
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Tarkowski was a solid presence at unstable Everton
Indeed, the 30-year-old played every minute of Premier League football for Everton last season, and in yet another year of instability, Tarkowski’s was a consistent presence at the back.
His winning goal in February’s 1-0 win over Arsenal in Sean Dyche’s first game in charge ended a winless run stretching back eight Premier League games.
Arguably, it was this victory and this Goodison Park performance that jolted the Blues into life during the club’s fight to avoid relegation.
In moments of significance in the club’s modern history, Tarkowski’s contribution in this game cannot be underestimated, though his consistency at the back over the course of the season equates to much more.