Deadline day reports suggest that Scottish champions Celtic are poised to try and make a late move to bring in Everton midfielder James McCarthy. According to the Mirror, the Irish midfielder could join the club on a loan deal before the 11pm deadline this evening.
Where would he fit in at Celtic Park?
He could play alongside Scott Brown in a deeper midfield role, and gain experience through playing in the Champions League group stage matches along the way. Manager Brendan Rodgers could use McCarthy the same way he used Joe Allen while at Swansea, or Allen/Henderson/Gerrard while he was in charge of Liverpool.
McCarthy could well be deployed as a defensive midfielder, beginning the play for most attacks and aiding in the recycling of possession. He could offer talent and experience, despite playing currently for Rodgers’ old enemies, Everton.
Is he worth the risk?
Potentially, Celtic have nothing to lose. Rodgers possesses a good knowledge of the Premier League from his many years in the top flight, and so knows the player well. He also is capable of developing defensive midfielders and turning them into leaders and the starting points for attacks, as he proved with Jordan Henderson. On a year-long deal the player has time to adjust and prove his worth for parent club Everton, while also contributing to Celtic’s plans for domestic success.
If the deal doesn’t work, then both club and player can happily part ways come next summer. Playing European nights at Celtic Park would certainly be worth the risk for James McCarthy, especially with the teams that are set to play there this season.
How likely is this deal?
This is looking increasingly unlikely as the day goes on with Crystal Palace also reportedly looking at the player. As the 11 pm deadline approaches (although it is in fact at midnight in Scotland), it seems that McCarthy will probably see himself staying at Goodison Park, with Everton also not looking like they are bringing anyone in.
The player may have to stay and fight, probably more a successful battle now Besic is injured, but he may still have a job to convince Ronald Koeman to try him. If he does move, it is probably more likely to be to work with Alan Pardew and progress in the Premier League, with players that have made Palace look like a force all of a sudden.