Steven Gerrard's ex-teammate explains why 'perfect' signing should join Newcastle United

Newcastle United and Aston Villa have both been linked with a summer move for out-of-contract Burnley defender James Tarkowski.

Monday, 30th May 2022, 11:48 am

And former Newcastle left-back Jose Enrique believes Tarkowski would be the ‘perfect’ signing for his former club amid interest from Premier League rivals Aston Villa.

Enrique, who played alongside Villa boss Steven Gerrard at Liverpool, went on to suggest that, as a player, he would choose a move to Newcastle over Birmingham due to United’s size and potential under new ownership. This is despite Aston Villa recently confirming the signing of Diego Carlos from Sevilla after the Brazilian was strongly linked with a move to Newcastle in January.

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Callum Wilson of Newcastle United battles for possession with James Tarkowski of Burnley during the Premier League match between Burnley and Newcastle United at Turf Moor on May 22, 2022 in Burnley, England. (Photo by Gareth Copley/Getty Images)

“Tarkowski, a centre-back, on a free, he’ll be a very good signing,” Enrique told bettingexpert. “Wages wise, they’ll pay him well. Aston Villa, want him as well so I’m not sure what will happen there.”

“I feel sorry for Stevie [Gerrard] but the reality is, if I have Aston Villa and Newcastle, I’ll go to Newcastle with the players that they have and the club that they have.

"I think it’s massive. If he has both options, definitely I’d go to Newcastle.”

Tarkowski, 29, played 35 times for Burnley in the Premier League in 2021-22 but couldn’t stop the Clarets being relegated to the Championship following a 2-1 final day defeat to Newcastle.

“He’s a very good centre-back, and it’s on a free, then obviously you’ll have to pay him salary-wise, more," Enrique added.

“He would be a great signing. They need a centre-back who’s experienced in the Premier League. He’s the perfect centre-back for Newcastle. Perfect.”