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Everton midfielder James McCarthy seems to be a wanted man in the Premier League. There were reports earlier that Premier League newbies Newcastle United were interested in the 26-year old and that West Bromwich Albion too were monitoring his situation.
And now, Crystal Palace too have shown interest in McCarthy and if reports from the Daily Mail are to be believed, Leicester City have joined the bandwagon of clubs chasing the Republic of Ireland international. The report also claims that the Merseyside outfit value him at £25million.
The Toffees have had an explosive start to the summer. Under Ronald Koeman, there is a bit of a squad overhaul taking place at the Goodison Park this season. Everton have been one of the most active Premier League clubs in the transfer market and have already made a number of key signings.
Jordan Pickford, Davy Klaassen, Henry Onyekuru, Sandro Ramirez, Michael Keane have all arrived since the close season, while Wayne Rooney has completed a sensational return to his boyhood club. And as per latest reports, a deal for Gylfi Sigurdsson is also in the process. So, there are plenty of reasons for the Everton fans to be excited ahead of the next season.
Romelu Lukaku has moved to Manchester United, while Ross Barkley too seems to be heading towards the exit doors. And amidst so much interest in McCarthy, there will be a thought on whether to sell him or keep him ahead of the next season.
The 26-year old joined Everton in the summer of 2013, from Wigan Athletic, when Roberto Martinez was appointed as the new manager of the Merseysiders. Upon arriving, McCarthy made immediate impact, forging a formidable partnership with Gareth Barry in the two-man midfield axis for the club, helping them to a record points tally in the 2013/14 campaign.
Since then, he has been a mainstay in the middle of the park for Everton, but that changed last season. The Republic of Ireland international’s season was completely marred by injuries which led to the likes of Tom Davies, Idrissa Gueye, and Morgan Schneiderlin usurping his place in the starting XI. As a result, McCarthy just made 13 appearances in all competitions under Koeman last season, in which he managed just one goal.
There is no doubt about the quality or the abilities of McCarthy. And the midfielder backs it up with great experience in the Premier League as well, having made 219 top-flight appearances for Everton and Wigan combined. However, it doesn’t seem like there is space for him in the Everton line-up at the moment. And the player too wouldn’t be willing to play a bit-part role over the course of the season, especially with the FIFA World Cup 2018 looming large.
So, at this point, a sale would be the ideal option for both the parties without a doubt. McCarthy will have more chances of regular first-team football elsewhere, while a transfer away will also help Everton balance the books a little, considering their spending spree. But, if Everton are wanting to get the 26-year old off their books, they will definitely have to lower their asking price for the midfielder.
Considering his age, contract length, experience and quality, £25million does seem fair, but the club should also take into consideration that McCarthy spent a good chunk of last season on the treatment table and wasn’t guaranteed a starting spot in the line-up even when fit. The likes of Newcastle, West Brom or Palace aren’t going to stump up such huge figures for a player who was injury-riddled for almost a year.
In conclusion, Everton should definitely look to sell McCarthy in the summer, but for a much lesser price than the £25million they seem to be holding out for.