By George Overhill

10th Sep, 2022 | 9:39pm

James Tarkowski likely Everton captain if Jordan Pickford out, Conor Coady would be 'weird'

James Tarkowski is likely to be the Everton captain if Jordan Pickford is to miss any games with his injury, according to Liverpool Echo journalists Joe Thomas and Adam Jones.

The Toffees keeper sustained a thigh injury from his starring display in the Merseyside derby last weekend (3 September), and while the postponements of matches after the death of the Queen have raised the possibility that he doesn’t actually end up missing any games, it is the new signing from Burnley who is most likely to step in.

The two England international defenders who arrived this summer are seen as prime candidates to be able to fulfil the role due to their previous experience as leaders, but Tarkowski is deemed more suitable than Conor Coady by the pair of reporters because it would be “weird” to make a loanee captain.

Speaking on the Royal Blue podcast (9 September, 24mins 30secs) Thomas said: “We’re in a fortunate position because there are a significant number of leaders in that squad who are starting most games… The most obvious two are the centre-back pairing, Conor Coady and James Tarkowski.

“Conor Coady was the Wolves captain last season before his departure and we’ve already seen the impact that James Tarkowski has had… The fact that Coady is on loan may well just relegate him beneath Tarkowski.”

Jones agreed, saying: “James Tarkowski is the obvious shout for me. Conor Coady being on loan is a really relevant point. I understand he’s got those captaincy experiences and leadership qualities and all that, but he’s still a Wolves player. It just seems weird to make a Wolves player your captain.

“We’ve seen Tarkowski’s leadership qualities even in preseason when he was nearly fighting Arsenal players on behalf of Stanley Mills, which was really funny to see.”

Astute

Technically it would be strange if a player contracted to another team was wearing the Toffees armband, but if you value what a player brings to your squad enough to sign him even temporarily then why not let him lead?

As it is, the fact that Everton have Tarkowski there next to him gives the side a strong dynamic at the back that shows what sensible signings they were.

There is undoubtedly ability in all the centre-backs in the squad already, but too often last season it felt like a lack of organisation or leadership led to collapses during the relegation fight.

To sign two players at the position with strong qualities in those areas makes the transfer window’s first objective a clear success at this stage.

There may also be an eye on marquee signing Amadou Onana developing into the captain of the future once he is established and has gained some more experience, so it is clear what Frank Lampard was looking for from his targets.

While club captain Seamus Coleman is no doubt still instrumental around Finch Farm and Pickford is an undeniably big character whether he is on the field or not, successful teams always have more than a couple of figures who fill those roles whether they are wearing the armband or not and it looks like Everton have that now.