Is This Newcastle’s Surprise Midfield Transfer Target?

26 year-old James McCarthy doesn’t seem to fit into the plans of new Everton manager Ronald Koeman and he is very likely to be sold in January and the question is whether Rafa Benitez thinks he would be a decent buy for Newcastle.

It’s clear we need a box-to-box midfielder to take some of the strain off Jonjo Shelvey and James is a very experienced player who has played in the Premier League since 2009, when he joined Wigan from Hamilton Academical.

James McCarthy – Everton midfielder available next month

Rafa has said he wants to bring in some Premier League players next month and some of them on loan and James would certainly be a very good addition to our squad.

But it’s also not surprising that the 41 times capped Republic of Ireland International has attracted several Premier League clubs Crystal Palace and West Brom – with Aston Villa also said to be interested.

However, the current favorites to sign him next month seem to be Celtic, his home town club,  with James being  brought up in Glasgow so that’s a possibility although James will not come cheap.

Maybe the best Newcastle can do is offer him a loan spell through the end of the season, but it could be very difficult even then to get the player to take a step down to the Championship for the rest of the season.

We feel that Rafa is going to surprise us with his transfer targets in January – and James McCarthy could be one of those surprises.

Newcastle are trying to get 20 year-old Chelsea midfielder Ruben Loftus-Cheek in on loan, but Rafa has said he also has other targets lined up.

James played four seasons for Wigan and he is in his fourth season at Everton, but Ronald Koeman is willing to let him leave the Toffees next month.

He has made a total 365 first team appearances with 28 goals including 219 appearances in the Premier League with 12 goals.

James is a talented player who would certainly strengthen the Newcastle side.

Comments welcome.

6 comments so far

  • jasper

    Dec 30, 2016 at 7:52 AM

    Comment #1

    I do wish that Ed wouldn’t insist on submitting two articles in short order, no sooner have Posada and I replied than we have moved on.

  • jasper

    Dec 30, 2016 at 7:54 AM

    Comment #2

    Returning to the Rafa’s too defensive argument what bothers me is our inability to cope with a press. I was abroad For the first game of the season but bar the Forest fiasco our defeats since have all derived from a harassing press. Huddersfield, Wolves, Blackburn
    and SW. Quite varied teams, only one DM, quite attacking against Blackburn (Yedlin, Gamez and Atsu started, with Mitro).
    When teams come and sit right off us, like Birmingham, then we look very comfortable.
    Various posters have proposed solutions, including something close to the formation that failed against Blackburn. However that failed, perhaps because Mitro got isolated. Gayle only came on at 84 mins.
    I don’t know how many minutes Gayle and Mitro have been on the field simultaneously, but it must be well short of 90 mins in total. Yet in the most memorable game of the season we won thanks to their joint contribution. Possibly the only game when they were both on the field for over 20 mins.
    When we get pressed the defence start hoofing because we don’t have midfielders who can move the ball slickly and quickly enough to evade it. And if we hoof it to Gayle or an isolated Mitro we lose it.
    So my view is that we need to either play much more 4-4-2 or acquire more ball playing midfielders who can work the ball out of tight corners – or we will be in trouble.

  • Lindisfarne

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:14 AM

    Comment #3

    What is the difference between playing a midfielder high behind a striker and a second striker that drops deep?

    Surely the 4231 formation does not preclude either Mitro or Gayle playing the #10 role and being a greater threat in an attacking sense. At the moment Rafas “defensiveness” has Diame playing behind the striker to bolster our midfield strength, but he does not have the subtly to retain possession and find a pass and consequently attacks break down.

    In an early interview with Holloway for Sky, Rafa declared he favoured a balanced side. However it is evident through games and subsequent interviews that his first priority is a clean sheet. IMO without the ability to keep the ball in the oppositions half we invite pressure and increase the probability of conceding. A manifestation of this situation is Shelvey dropping back level with our central defenders.

  • Nufc-83

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:19 AM

    Comment #4

    Why are we linked with so many midfielders who are probably more defensive minded that attacking. Yes shelvey plays deep in CM but his range of passing allows him to create from that position. The likes of Delph, McCarthy and lotus-cheek are not going to add much to our attack which in terms of creativity is lacking.

  • posada

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:23 AM

    Comment #5


    Two strikers should be able to share the number 10 role.
    Mixing it up. Taking it in turns to come short for the ball.
    Mitro can play a bit with the ball at his feet.

    Diame is key. He seems to only have the energy to play in bursts. Did this against Birmingham. Got out wide, beat a man or should I say barged past him and delivered cross for first goal.

    Did nothing like that against Sheff Wed.

    Stayed central. Anita does not overlap, consequently Ritchie is isolated.
    Atsu can make things happen with his pace. Ritchie needs other players to link up with.

  • dannitoon

    Dec 30, 2016 at 8:38 AM

    Comment #6

    Good player


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