James Tarkowski admits he was disappointed not to be selected for England’s Euro 2020 qualifiers and will just knuckle down with Burnley to show what he can do. The 26-year-old made his Three Lions debut on March 27 last year when starting the 1-1 draw with Italy at Wembley, but has enjoyed just one further outing since.
The defender has yet to feature in a competitive fixture for Gareth Southgate’s side and was overlooked for the upcoming qualifiers with Czech Republic and Bulgaria. A hernia operation meant the former Brentford man fell down the pecking order and was never in contention for the 2018 World Cup, but he did feature against Switzerland in September of that year.
That was his last cap, with Joe Gomez, Michael Keane, Harry Maguire, Tyrone Mings and young Chelsea defender Fikayo Tomori all selected ahead of him in the current squad. The Manchester-born stopper has enjoyed a solid start to the domestic campaign and has played every minute of the Clarets’ eight top-flight games, helping them to seventh place in the table.
It was hoped he might get the nod for England although he will now keep working hard to give Southgate a nudge for future squads. “I am disappointed. I want to be involved,” he said. “I feel like I’m playing really well, I’m at full fitness levels, playing every minute possible in games and I feel like I’m performing the best I have done for Burnley.
“But it’s the England manager’s decision to pick the players he feels suits his system, so I’m not going to cry about it and get all upset. I’m just going to crack on with my game and enjoy myself when I’m playing.”
Tarkowski’s next task will be to try and contain Jamie Vardy when Burnley travel to King Power Stadium to face Leicester City on October 19 when the Premier League returns.