Crystal Palace have been linked with a move for former Wigan Athletic midfielder James McCarthy for whom Everton are reportedly demanding £20m. The Eagles are holding out for a much lower price but with the midfielder eager to leave the club, it is understood a deal will be thrashed out. Newcastle United are firmly in for the midfielder but the clear advantage is with Crystal Palace due to their Premier League status. Alan Pardew was initially hooked on to the idea of a reunion with his former star player Moussa Sissoko as the duo worked together previously at Newcastle United. But Pardew has turned his attention to James McCarthy after being priced out of a deal for the Euro 2016 star.
Crystal Palace have not enjoyed anything near the success they would have anticipated under Alan Pardew. Though the club has backed the manager with the freedom to go after his players, the desired results have been missing till now. Palace possess players with potential and a plethora of flair players. They have most of the ingredients of a successful team but somehow things have not fallen into place till now.
Like the last transfer window, the manager has been fully backed this time around as well. Palace have primarily struggled for goals lately and the major reason for that has been the lack of a good finisher in the team. A target man who could be the focal point of the team’s attack. Most often it has been attacking play without purpose as the move fizzles out before they reach the d-box. But they have addressed the issue by signing Christian Benteke but Pardew is reportedly keen on adding a midfielder to their ranks.
And after the initial interest in Sissoko failing to take off, McCarthy has been identified as the player who would be the perfect foil to Yohan Cabaye in midfield. McCarthy has spent most of his career at Wigan Athletic where he appeared in 120 matches for them scoring 7 goals from his defensive midfield position. He was a key component in the way Roberto Martinez set up his team. With the focus on attack, it was upon McCarthy to do the dirty work in the midfield.
His positioning sense and his unerring ability to block a ball made him a valued entity in the Wigan team. It was not a surprise when Martinez brought him to Everton along with him. But after a promising start to his Toffees career, he seems to have been pushed down the pecking order with the arrival of Idrissa Gueye under the new regimen.
He has played 116 matches for Everton and has not let his performance dip. The 25-year old is considered as the ideal partner to Cabaye at Palace with the Frenchman’s ability to influence the game higher up the pitch. His ability to concentrate and his tackling and defensive awareness will add much needed steel to the midfield. The Republic of Ireland international might not be a glamorous option but he has the capability to do the job asked of him and Pardew should look at completing his transfer business with his signing.