Everton might offload James McCarthy once the transfer window opens and there will be no dearth of suitors as a number of clubs have already enquired about the player’s availability. West Ham United and Watford are amongst the clubs who have expressed their interest in the midfielder. Everton will demand £20m for the Irish midfielder and he could become the most expensive Irish player after Robbie Keane if someone meets their demand.
McCarthy’s season has been ravaged by injuries as the midfielder hardly appeared on the pitch. The Republic of Ireland midfielder remains one of the most creative box to box midfielders of the current lot but his injuries have been a barrier to his growth recently. The 26-year-old has started a mere seven games in the Premier League this season and also has withdrawn himself from the Ireland squad for the games against Uruguay, Austria and Mexico with niggles.
West Ham already have a significant number of midfielders and Slaven Bilic needs to strengthen the other parts of his squad. Midfield has always been the Hammers’ strong point. There is no doubt of McCarthy’s capability, as the player will be an asset wherever he goes but do the Hammers really need to throw their all behind this player?
Mark Noble is still one of the most versatile central midfielders in the Premier League and his passing range and vision are quite fascinating. In Cheikhou Kouyate and Pedro Obiang, Bilic has two of the most powerful midfielders. Their presence in the midfield lends a solid balance to the team and spending £20m for a player like McCarthy is a bit of a luxury which they cannot afford.
Watford are also behind the player. The Hornets have played with a number of midfielders in every match as their main idea was to outnumber the opposition in the midfield area. But £20m for McCarthy sounds too heavy. Watford definitely needs the creativity he will offer but they cannot spend so much on just one player.
His positional sense is brilliant and he also does possess a wide range of passes and can be deployed in the wider areas as well. Scoring goals has been a problem for the Hornets as there was no creativity in the middle of the pitch and McCarthy could be a gamble which they might just want to make.
However, Watford will like to negotiate with the fees of the midfielder as a deal in the range of £10million and £15million will be a good price for the Irish midfielder.