James Tarkowski: One of Europe's Best
( Dave Howrath - CameraSport / Getty Images) 

James Tarkowski has undoubtedly been one of Burnley's best players this season and has a strong claim for being one of the best centre backs in the league, but how does he fair against some of the continents best?

Well, WhoScored have put the Burnley fan favourite in their European Team of the Season!

  •  Why he got in.

Tarkowski partnered Virgil Van Dijk in the squad with a rating of 7.19, compared to Van Dijk's 7.32. 

The 27-year-old played every minute of Burnley's Premier League campaign, that's 38 appearances with four goal involvements, two goals and two assists. 

His more in depth stats show his importance to the Clarets, he helped keep 15 clean sheets, made 200 clearances, won 198 Aerial battles, won 307 duels and made 66 tackles giving him a tackle success rate of 65%. 

Tarkowski Is a big build and his combative style can sometimes hide is ability on the ball. He averages 35 passes a match completing 1,350 passes this season. His two assists are an added bonus and his 105 accurate long balls show his intent to play forward.

  •  Compared to the others.

There are many top class centre-backs on the continent, in France Thiago Silva, In Italy Kalidou Koulibaly, In Germany Mats Hummels and in Spain Sergio Ramos. So how did Tarkowski get in ahead of all theses big players?

Well in their explanation, WhoScored said: "He made more clearances (200) than any other player in Europe's top five leagues this term.

"The 27-year-old was aerially dominant, too, as he won more aerial duels (198) than any other defender to make the cut."

So he is leading the line in defensive stats and has the minutes under his belt too. Yes he hasn't won a trophy this year, but his importance to Burnley is the key to him being selected in this team. 

Obviously Van Dijk is his partner in this team and the best in the league but Tarkowski isn't too far away from Liverpool's saviour. They both have the same amount of clean sheets, with Tarkowski making more tackles and interceptions as well as winning more aerial battles. Now, this is because Burnley's defence has more to do than Liverpool's but you can't hide from the fact Tarkowski has been at his best this season and that's made him one of the best in the league. 

  • National Pride

When it comes to English centre-backs Harry Maguire is probably most peoples first choice but finding him a partner has been tricky. John Stones has dropped off slightly with Joe Gomez taking the spot.

Tarkowski deserves to be in the conversation and has definitely earned himself a call up to be part of the squad, whether that is as a member of the starting elven is another debate.

However, it's a debate where you could easily argue in Tarkowski's favour. Maguire has been good at time but his recent mistakes have fans losing confidence in his ability. Gomez has had a solid season but will need a partner and Tarkowski's stats put him ahead of Michael Keane, Fikayo Tomori and Stones. 

All in all Tarkowski has had an incredible season and fully deserves continental recognition as well as an England call up in the near future.