Pundit Tips Crystal Palace Man To Be A ‘Hell Of A Signing’ For Celtic: Should Lennon Look To Sign Him?

Celtic Are Interested In Crystal Palace’s James McCarthy - McCarthy in action
LONDON, ENGLAND - JUNE 29: James McCarthy of Crystal Palace is challenged by Erik Pieters of Burnley during the Premier League match between Crystal Palace and Burnley FC at Selhurst Park on June 29, 2020 in London, United Kingdom. (Photo by Daniel Leal-Olivas/Pool via Getty Images)

In a recent interview by Football Insider, ex-Premier League ace Michael Brown has tipped Crystal Palace midfielder James McCarthy to be a ‘hell of a signing’ for Neil Lennon’s aspiring Celtic side. The former Tottenham midfielder has hailed the quality that the Irishman possesses, and went on to brand him a ‘brilliant talent’ who also boasts a ‘great personality’. The Crystal Palace man, who spent time playing for the same team as Michael Brown at Wigan, has been tipped to be a top buy for the Scottish champions.

Although the report has clarified that Celtic are interested in Crystal Palace’s James McCarthy, whether or not they’re actually serious about this move remains to be seen.

Speaking to Football Insider, Brown said, “I think he’s a brilliant footballer. I played in that Wigan side when he came and joined. He’s been at Palace, he’s had the odd injury here and there, but he’s played his part. He’s a very experienced player now from his time at Everton. When he came to Wigan he was a bit of an unknown from Hamilton. I enjoyed seeing him develop. I’ve watched his career all the way through. He’s a great lad, great personality. It would be a hell of a signing if they could get him, that’s for sure.

What Is Celtic’s Current Situation In Midfield?

On paper, the Celts boast what is among the strongest midfield lines in the entirety of the division, but a closer inspection will reveal all the gaping cracks that Neil Lennon is having to deal with over every week. While the presence of names like James Forrest, Ryan Christie and Olivier Ntcham will certainly do enough to calm the initial nerves, it’s worth taking into considering that all the aforementioned players are attack-minded by nature. Ntcham, despite being a central midfielder by position, does tend to display a fairly offensive mindset often.

Celtic Are Interested In Crystal Palace’s James McCarthy - McCarthy spits
LIVERPOOL, ENGLAND – JUNE 24: James McCarthy of Crystal Palace takes a drink the warm up ahead of the Premier League match between Liverpool FC and Crystal Palace at Anfield on June 24, 2020 in Liverpool, England. (Photo by Paul Ellis/Pool via Getty Images)

Callum McGregor and Scott Brown are the Celts’ two main options for the holding midfield role, with Nir Bitton brought in as an alternative when either of the first-choice names needs to be given a rest. Ismaila Soro had been brought in to play a similar role, but it’s safe to say that the Ivorian has failed to live up to the hype. With the skipper now 35-years-old and quite clearly slowing down, it wouldn’t be the worst idea from a Hoops perspective to identify and acquire a potential long-term replacement.

What Makes James McCarthy An Attractive Option For Celtic?

The Irishman is a holding midfielder by position and is just as adept at moving the ball forward as he is at protecting the back-line. Often seen sat in front of the Palace defence, McCarthy boasts excellent composure in possession, and he even has a bullet of a strike in his right boot. The former Everton man is set to turn 30 before the turn of the year, but that means very little in terms of what he actually offers. Despite not being the most talked about player in the Palace squad, there were only three league fixtures that he didn’t participate in last season.

Celtic Are Interested In Crystal Palace’s James McCarthy: Smart Move For Lennon? 

Celtic’s desire to win their tenth straight league title has been no secret, but considering the fact that Steven Gerrard’s Rangers are now in the equation as well, it’s definitely not going to be an easy task. The Bhoys already dropped their first points of the season against Kilmarnock last weekend, in a fixture that saw them produce an extremely limited number of clear-cut chances.

McGregor and Brown were unable to impact the tie in the manner they would’ve liked, and a change in personnel in the role could’ve yielded different results. The acquisition of an experienced player like McCarthy will undoubtedly go a long way, and given his well-balanced skill-set as well, there’s no reason why the Celts shouldn’t try to acquire the Irishman this summer.

Nikhil has been an avid Chelsea fan for as long as the concept of time has existed and rumours say that he even bleeds blue. Having lived in the UK for 3 years, Nikhil is said to have an excellent understanding of the atmosphere surrounding the English game. His role model is the greatest manager of all time - Jose Mourinho.