Fresh James McCarthy update before Celtic vs Hearts

When Celtic signed James McCarthy on a free transfer this summer, it was not a huge surprise. The club had been linked with the Republic on Ireland international for years but it had never materialised. With him being a free agent though, the club had a major chance to make it happen this time around and they did. What was surprising though is the fact that the club handed him a four year deal.

At 31 years of age, it is safe to say that McCarthy is heading towards the end of his playing career and is no longer in his prime. On top of that, he has had a number of injury problems over the last several years.

Thus, it was unexpected that Celtic would hand him a long-term deal. And since his arrival, we have seen him struggle for both form and fitness.

There have been some positive signs recently though with McCarthy completing his first 90 minutes against Aberdeen recently. And Ange Postecoglou seems happy with the progress that he is making. As reported by the Daily Record, the Celtic manager said:

“I thought his performance on Sunday was good. We need to remember that he’s had a disrupted pre-season and that was his first meaningful start for a while.

“It’s not an easy task to come into a team and perform at those levels so he got through the game well which was the main thing physically.

“He had no issues and he got a taste of it. James is one we are going to need this season because of his experience and the way he plays. Everyone knows he can improve and we want him to improve.”

Can McCarthy be a big part of Celtic’s first-team this season?

Till now, we have only seen glimpses of McCarthy as he has been in and out of the team, struggling to gain match fitness till now. But it does feel like he is slowly coming into the mix things and hopefully, he can get a run of games moving forward.

On top of his game, there is no doubt that McCarthy can be a major part of Celtic’s plans. He was a good Premier League midfielder in his prime at the end of the day.

The most important thing for McCarthy right now might be to put his injury problems behind him. Let’s see if he can do that. Other than him, Celtic have Nir Bitton and Ismaila Soro capable of playing in the role.

This article was originally posted here

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