England rejection disappoints Burnley defender James Tarkowski

Burnley defender James Tarkowski and England boss Gareth Southgate in conversation during a training camp at St George's Park
Burnley defender James Tarkowski and England boss Gareth Southgate in conversation during a training camp at St George's Park

Burnley centre back James Tarkowski didn't attempt to disguise his disappointment after being overlooked by England boss Gareth Southgate for the latest round of international fixtures.

The former Brentford defender hasn't been a part of the Three Lions squad since March's Euro 2020 qualifiers, despite being in the form of his life for the Clarets.

The 27-year-old, who was an unused substitute in those Group A games against the Czech Republic and Montenegro, was hoping to be involved in the trips to Prague and Sofia after missing out on last month's home ties against Bulgaria and Kosovo.

But it was Ben Chilwell, former Clarets Michael Keane and Kieran Trippier, Harry Maguire, Danny Rose, Trent Alexander-Arnold, Joe Gomez, Tyrone Mings and Fikayo Tomori who received call ups to the defensive ranks.

Tarkowski has earned two caps for his nation to date, with 90 minutes under his belt in a 1-1 draw against Italy and another hour in a slender win over Switzerland at the King Power Stadium just over 12 months ago.

He said: "I am disappointed, I want to be involved, 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 to the best I have done for Burnley.

"I'm disappointed not to be in there, 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 added: "He's got the players in there that he wants to pick for his team and he feels is best for his system. I'm happy with my performances and that's all I can do.

"I'm a footballer and I want to play football, whether that's being a part of the squad for England, starting for England or playing for Burnley. I just want to play football.

"I'm desperate to be back involved in the England squad, but for now I'm happy in the Burnley one.

"We're performing well as a team and I want to improve on my own performances. I'm not going to starting whinging about not being involved, it's the manager's job to pick the players. He's decided that he doesn't want me in the squad so that's fair enough."