By 90Min
October 05, 2017

England manager Gareth Southgate named Gary Cahill, John Stones, Chris Smalling, Phil Jones, Michael Keane and Harry Maguire as his centre-back options for this week's final two World Cup qualifiers against Slovenia and Lithuania.

However, perhaps Burnley defender James Tarkowski could consider himself unfortunate not to be part of the group after his fine form in the opening weeks of the Premier League season.

The sixth-placed Clarets are doing well as they look to extend their top flight into a third successive campaign after beating the drop in 2016/17, with 24-year-old Tarkowski a key performer.

Alex Livesey/GettyImages

Formerly of Oldham and Brentford and largely a fringe player until the final weeks of last season, Tarkowski leads the centre-backs in the England squad when it comes to clearances in 2017/18, data courtesy of EA SPORTS can reveal.

He has 74 to his name, compared to 43 from Jones, 41 from Keane and 39 from Maguire. 

Tarkowski has also blocked nearly as many shots as all the others combined, with 15 to his name in seven Premier League appearances. Keane and Maguire have made seven blocks each, while Jones, Cahill and Stones have four between them.

The trend continues when it comes to attempted tackles as well, with Tarkowski's 11 outweighing Keane (10), Maguire (10) and Jones (9). Smalling, although not a regular starter with Manchester United, has not actually attempted any tackles in the Premier League so far.

What the above numbers point to is Burnley and Tarkowski generally being busier in defensive areas than players at either Manchester club or Chelsea. But certainly when it comes to Maguire of Leicester and Keane of Everton given the Toffees poor form, the information is valid.

That is is not least because through the contributing efforts of Tarkowski, Burnley are 10 and 11 places higher in the standings than Everton and Leicester respectively. The Clarets have also managed three clean sheets, which is the same as Keane (1) and Maguire (2) combined.

Data Courtesy of EA SPORTS, the Lead Partner of the Premier League


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