According to a recent report by The Daily Mail, Aston Villa are eyeing a £5m summer move for Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy. The same source has also stated that the Eagles midfield ace has just got only one year left in his current deal at Selhurst Park which could open the door for the Villans to snap him up during this summer transfer window. It is believed that Villa boss Dean Smith is hoping to strengthen his squad in this off-season after inspiring his players to retain their top-flight lives for at least another campaign last month (via The Daily Mail).
McCarthy’s Lacklustre Season At Selhurst Park
McCarthy has been a constant feature at the heart of Roy Hodgson’s midfield but has struggled to be productive going forward. He participated in 35 matches for the South London outfit last season but has no goals or assists to show for his efforts in all competitions.
The Republic of Ireland international has failed to find a run of consistency with his all-round contributions in midfield as evident from his average of 2.5 tackles, 0.7 interceptions and 0.5 key passes per game in the Premier League last season. McCarthy has also been sloppy with his ball-distribution after completing 77.8% of his attempted passes in league football (stats via whoscored).
The former Wigan Athletic midfielder has earned 40 senior caps for the Republic of Ireland national team but is yet to open his goal-scoring account for his homeland. Maybe, a summer move to Villa Park could help the 29-year-old make a fresh start and find some form at the highest level for both his club and country in the years to come.
What Will The Eagles Midfielder Bring To Villa Park?
McCarthy is quite aggressive with his tackles and can make a few crucial interceptions for his side at the centre of the park. He can read the danger quickly but lacks the pace to make recovering runs at the back, which can sometimes make him a liability on the field. When the Irish midfield ace is playing with confidence, he can create some decent chances in the final third. However, the Palace midfielder has often been lacklustre with his attacking contributions over the past 12 months.
Therefore, Dean Smith will be taking a risk if he decides to orchestrate a move to sign McCarthy this summer. Even though he will be available for a bargain price, yet there are some significant concerns over his ability to perform at a high level in the coming seasons.
At the same time, a midfielder of McCarthy’s experience could turn out to be a valuable acquisition for the Villans ahead of the new season. He will not only add more depth to Villa’s midfield department but also increase competition for places within their squad.
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