Sunday 18 August 2019

James McCarthy set to be offered a chance to kick-start his Premier League career as a move from Everton beckons

James McCarthy: Needs to remind people of his top-flight credentials
James McCarthy: Needs to remind people of his top-flight credentials
Kevin Palmer

Kevin Palmer

James McCarthy looks set to end his time at Everton in the next few days after Crystal Palace lodged a firm offer for the Republic of Ireland midfielder, Independent.ie understands.

McCarthy has made just five Premier League appearances in the last two seasons, as injuries contributed to his lack of first-team action under managers Ronald Koeman and his successors Sam Allardyce and Marco Silva.

McCarthy has played just 16 minutes of first-team football since sustaining a double compound fracture of his right leg in January 2018 and his prospects of a return to Silva's first-team plans seem forlorn in a summer that has seen the Goodison Park club sign Portugal midfielder Andre Gomes for £22m and England midfielder Fabien Delph from Manchester City.

Those two deals confirmed there was no way back for McCarthy at Everton and it appears his six-year stay at the club could end if a fee can be agreed with Palace.

Everton boss Silva confirmed in April that McCarthy could have left his club in last January's transfer window, but a decision was made to keep him until the end of the season.

"James had one or two offers during the January market but we decided, as a club, not to let him go because as you know we have 20 outfield players in our squad, two for every position," stated Silva.

"Since he came back from his injury, apart from one or two issues but nothing to do with his injury, he is always training to his maximum and working hard, as you know James does.

"He doesn't stop and he is 100% ready. He needs games, he needs minutes in his legs but he is 100% ready, no doubts about that. He has been fit for some time now and it is just a question of whether I decide to play him."

Eagles boss Roy Hodgson is a firm admirer of McCarthy and believes he still has plenty to offer at the age of 28, with the Scottish-born player keen to prove his worth once again after three seasons of inactivity.

Newcastle were also rumoured to have expressed an interest in McCarthy, but we understand Palace are confident of signing the player in a summer that has already seen them collect £50m from the sale of full-back Aaron Wan-Bisakka to Manchester United.

Palace also face a fight to hang on to star man Wilfried Zaha amid firm transfer interest from Arsenal, but the initial deal offered by the Gunners for the dynamic winger was swiftly dismissed by Selhurst Park chiefs.

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