Thursday 14 December 2017

Martinez vows to hold onto 'world-class' McCarthy for rest of season

Jamie Holland

Wigan boss Roberto Martinez expects James McCarthy to stay at the club for the rest of the season and is confident the Latics will have a "positive" January transfer window.

Reports have linked McCarthy with the likes of Liverpool and Arsenal and Martinez claimed after the midfielder's two-goal performance in last weekend's 2-2 Premier League draw with QPR that the 22-year-old had "the potential to play anywhere in the world".

The Spaniard added that "whenever he's ready we'll never stop him" from leaving the club, but Martinez has stressed McCarthy is still developing and says the distraction of transfer talk is the last thing the Republic of Ireland international needs.

He then nodded when questioned whether or not he thought McCarthy would remain a Wigan player for the remainder of the campaign. Asked if there had been any firm interest in McCarthy, Martinez said: "No."

Speaking ahead of tomorrow's league match at Norwich, Martinez added: "We will always feel really pleased with compliments towards our players.

"But James McCarthy (pictured below) is a young man – at 22 he is still developing. One day he will be challenging to win titles and to be in the highest position in the game – there is no two ways about it. But he is still developing and the performance that he had on Saturday shows that he is developing in the right way.

"He knows that and he knows as well that it is an important time for his role with the national team. The last thing he needs now is to be distracted from his good work and the way he is developing."

Wigan will soon have a new face around the club, with the manager confirming Dutch midfielder Ferrie Bodde is to train with them.

Bodde, signed by Martinez for Swansea in 2007, has been without a team since he was released by the Swans last summer. Bodde (30) has been blighted by knee problems and last played first-team football in the 2009/10 season.

Meanwhile, Martinez has hinted that both skipper Gary Caldwell – who it had been thought would definitely miss the Norwich game – and Ivan Ramis could have a chance of featuring tomorrow.

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