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James Tarkowski’s departure from Burnley was confirmed with the release of the retained list on Friday, 10th June, and today he’s put pen to paper on a four-year contract with Everton to remain in the Premier League.

Although we’ve known for two years that he’d be leaving us, just a few weeks ago it might have been the case that Everton would not have been in the running had they ended below us and been relegated. It wouldn’t have kept him at Burnley, however, with any number of Premier League clubs having had a keen interest in signing him.

He’ll join an Everton squad that includes former Claret Michael Keane and it was Keane’s move to Goodison in the summer of 2017 that gave Tarkowski his first opportunity to become a regular in the centre of the Burnley defence, one that he never relinquished.

Now, 29, Everton are just his fourth club. He started his career with Oldham, making his first team debut for them in January 2011 in a home League One game against Brentford which Oldham won 2-1. He came on that day as a substitute for Neal Trotman who had previously been with Burnley’s youth team. A few weeks later, at Leyton Orient, he got his first start.

It’s hard to believe now that Oldham and Brentford were in the same division; they will kick off next season four divisions apart, and it was to Brentford he went next despite big interest from Burnley in January 2014. He was there for two years before Sean Dyche got his man and brought him to Turf Moor in the 2016 January transfer window.

Tarkowski said on signing: ““I’m excited to have joined Everton. It’s a massive club. I’m really looking forward to the years ahead and I’m thankful for the opportunity that I’ve been given. Speaking to the manager, it was very important to see what he wants from his players and his team, what he saw in me and why he wanted to sign me. Speaking to (Director of Football) Kevin Thelwell was also a factor. They both spoke about the ambition here which was really important for me.

“I’m an ambitious person, I want to achieve, I want to win things and I’ve come here to be successful. And then there are the Everton fans. The support they gave the team last season was incredible. You saw just how big the fanbase is. Despite a difficult season, Everton fans got behind their team more than ever. I think they are a massive factor about this club. Hopefully successful times are ahead and, with the talent we have in the squad, we can give the fans something they really enjoy.”

Tarky is now an Everton player and we wish him all the very best at his new club.

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