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James Tarkowski tells Everton fans: I'm here to defend!

James Tarkowski says he joins Everton to defend!

In 2021/22, Tarkowski ranked first in the Premier League for clearances and shots blocked and second overall for aerial duels won.

Across those three categories, he ranked in the top three per cent of defenders across Europe's top five leagues.

Defending, as Tarkowski proudly states, is “a job I enjoy and thrive off". However, he also believes his vast experience at the top level of English football has sculpted him into a well-rounded footballer.

“First and foremost, I'm a defender," he told evertontv. “That part of my game is something I've really worked on the past few years to become the best defender possible.

“It's my job. I enjoy it, I thrive off it and hopefully I can bring those qualities to this team and more, because I do think I've got a good all-round game as well.

“As I was coming through the leagues, from League One to the Championship, I was more known as a ball-playing defender, so when I went to Burnley I tried to bring out the defensive side of my game which has definitely caught up to the offensive side of my game.

“I can move the ball well, I can pass, I can attack the ball in the other box, so I feel like I've got myself in a good place as player to be successful at a club like Everton.

“When you're a new player in a group, you have to settle in, get to know the players and how they react in certain ways, but I want to bring my leadership skills and experience and there's some good young talented players here so I'd like to guide them in whichever way possible both on and off the pitch."

Fully aware of Everton's rich history and past successes, Tarkowski explains the future ambitions of the Club formed a large part of the conversations that confirmed his choice to commit to a long-term contract with the Toffees.

“That's really important for me - to feel the ambition [from Lampard and Thelwell]," he explained. “I'm an ambitious person, I want to achieve, I want to win things so I've not just come here for a nice time.

“I've come here to be successful.

“As I said before, you saw during a difficult season last year how big this fanbase is.

“A lot of fans could have turned against their team in a situation of struggle but Everton fans got behind their team more than ever.

“Growing up down the road, I also saw a lot of successful times for Everton, how good there were then, and hopefully we can bring back the good times."

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Paul Vegas

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