Opinion: James Tarkowski should still be allowed to leave in the summer

James Tarkowski has had an outstanding season at Burnley and fans are hopeful that new ownership, fronted by Alan Pace, is able to keep hold of the prized asset. However, a new bumper contract for Tarkowski wouldn't necessarily be the way to go. 

In an interview a few months ago, Tarkowski had been very open about his desire to leave Turf Moor. He wanted a new challenge and claimed that he had received an undesirable contract extension. 

With ALK Capital's takeover injecting some much needed cash into the football club, it is possible that Tarkowski could be offered a much more lucrative new deal, smashing up the current wage structure. A pay-rise would be fully warranted but there is a fine line between a sensible raise and a crazy salary hike. Mega-money extensions are always risky. 

If Tarkowski did put pen to paper on a massive new deal, would be still be performing at the same level for the duration of that contract? A new contract with Burnley would basically end any dreams of a move to a bigger club. It would also be the most lucrative contract of Tarkowski's career.

There is little motivation to keep performance levels high. Of course, Tarkowski would want to perform to a high standard. But, perhaps subliminally, those efforts could very easily drop by 20%. You are on the most money you have ever earned and you won't get a promotion. It would simply be about enjoying the moment. 

Gunning for trouble

Arsenal have had similar issues with big contracts. Pierre-Emerick Aubameyang was on fire for the Gunners, until he signed his mega-money new contract. Since then, goals have dried up and his general performances have not been the same. Aubameyang signed a deal that ended his opportunity for a fresh challenge in another country and he has never earned more money over a three-year contract.

With Arsenal now starting to find form, Aubameyang probably will get back amongst the goals in some capacity. But the decision to award him a three year deal worth £350,000-a-week hasn't paid off. It was a move that was dictated to by fear. 

Burnley fans should know that they are a resilient club that is not built on the shoulders of any one individual. The Clarets have sold Michael Keane, Andre Gray and Kieran Trippier but that hasn't halted the club's progress. The keep calm and carry on mantra has always been key at Turf Moor. 

However, chairman Pace should do his best to keep Tarkowski until the summer. That will lower his transfer value but that is better than plunging the club into chaos in the middle of this unprecedented season.

Keeping Tarkowski and sensibly adding one or two players to the squad would represent a solid transfer window for Burnley.