Republic of Ireland midfielder James McCarthy has had a hard time of it for the last couple of years. A horrendous double leg break in January 2018 meant he lost over a year in recovery, and since then he’s only played 16 minutes of first team football with Everton.
With the Blues making Andre Gomes a permanent signing and then adding Fabian Delph to the mix last week, that has pretty much sealed it for McCarthy who hasn’t had much opportunity to play for Marco Silva even when fully fit.
News broke earlier this week that the new Newcastle manager Steve Bruce was targeting McCarthy and Yannick Bolasie, and then yesterday Sky Sports reported that Crystal Palace had lodged an offer of £8 million with the Blues for the midfielder.
Silva had said late last season that there was interest in McCarthy during the January transfer window, but they kept him for additional cover if needed.
”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.
”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.”
On the face of it, it seems a low bid for a player that has 223 Premier League appearances with 13 goals and 16 assists and is a strong tackler comfortable in a holding role in the middle of the park.
However, when you take into consideration that he is now 28 and has one year left on his current contract, and also that Marcel Brands is getting to the point where he’ll just about accept any offer to buy an Everton fringe player versus send him out on loan, the Blues could possibly push for a £10m amount and throw in some performance and appearance-related add-ons in there too.
Either way, it represents a good chance for McCarthy to get some playing time and spark his career back to life.