James Alan Tarkowski (born 19 November 1992) is an English professional footballer who plays as a central defender for Burnley. He began his career at Oldham Athletic, where he made 89 appearances before leaving in 2014.
Tarkowski grew up in New Moston, Manchester and joined League One side Oldham Athletic on a two-year scholarship in May 2009. He made his reserve team debut in October 2009. A centre back, Tarkowski was called up to the first team for the first time for a league match versus Plymouth Argyle on 15 January 2011. His senior debut came on 22 January, coming on as an 80th-minute substitute for the injured Neal Trotman in a 2–1 home win over Brentford. Tarkowski made his first Latics start in a 1–0 defeat to Leyton Orient on 12 March and played the full 90 minutes. He was awarded a two-year professional contract by the club in May 2011. He made 9 appearances during the second half of the 2010–11 season.
Tarkowski had to wait until 10 December 2011 to make his first appearance of the 2011–12 season, when he came on as a 61st-minute substitute for Jean-Yves Mvoto in a 2–0 home defeat to Sheffield Wednesday. A half time substitute appearance in Oldham's 2–1 Football League Trophy Northern Area final first leg defeat to Chesterfield on 30 January 2012 kicked off a run which saw Tarkowski included in almost all of Oldham's first team squads until the end of the season. Tarkowski crowned his run of appearances by scoring his first senior goal for the club on the final day of the season in a 2–1 win over Carlisle United. He made 18 appearances during the 2011–12 season and scored one goal.
On 1 February 2016, Tarkowski signed a three-and-a-half year deal with Championship club Burnley for an undisclosed fee.
Tarkowski attended New Moston Primary School and Failsworth High School, which he left in 2009. He is a Manchester United fan and admired David Beckham and Paul Scholes while growing up.