Opinion: James McCarthy – the experienced head that would improve Celtic’s midfield

James McCarthy is once again the talk of social media linking the Ireland Internationalist with a free transfer to Glasgow’s East End. The midfielder is a free transfer and would certainly improve Celtic’s midfield if a deal can be done to bring him to the club.

Stephen McGowan said that Celtic wanted another holding midfielder with Ismaila Soro failing to really make the position at the base of the Celtic midfield his own. Talk relating to a move for Aaron Mooy has cooled and with Celtic needing to get some players in the door, a move for McCarthy is a no-brainer. The Parkhead club have often been linked with the former Everton and Wigan midfielder coming through the Celtic Academy before joining Hamilton Accies.

Copyright: INPHO/Tommy Dickson

Celtic could see McCarthy as a successor to Scott Brown in the middle of the park, aiding captain Callum McGregor and helping to fill the vacuum left by Brown. McCarthy brings a blend of experience and pedigree that could make him an important player for seasons to come.

The 30-year-old has made 271 Premier League appearances, scoring 13 goals and assisting 16 times. The player struggled for game time last year, making just sixteen appearances for Palace but given Roy Hodgson was departing, the player was not offered a new deal with Palace leaving him free to join Celtic.

Celtic need to be shrewd with their business, signing players that would make an instant impact on the team and the boyhood Celtic fan would bring that. Soro has struggled to impose himself on the Celtic first team and a holding midfielder like McCarthy would be the ideal candidate to offer stability to Ange Postecoglou’s midfield.

Postecoglou has added Liel Abada (RW), Osaze Urhoghide (CB) and Kyogo Furuhashi (ST) with Starfelt (CB) also agreeing to join Celtic. Liam Shaw (CDM) arrived on a pre-contract but it appears as he is a player for the future as opposed to a ready-made first team player. Another CB, a RB, a goalkeeper and a winger are desirable before the window closes as the club need to get the standard of the first team up to that required of title favourites.

About Author

Born just as Celtic were stopping the Ten, Lubo98 follows Celtic home and away and helps run his local Celtic Supporters Club. He goes to all the games and is a Law Graduate. Has a particular fondness for Tom Rogic among the current Celts and both Lubo and Henrik form his earliest Celtic memories.


  1. Mccarthy good player that he is would not be capable of playing this constant high press game just like half the players we’ve got now.

    • Have to agree. Be better off paying the fee for Patrick Berg and half the wages.

  2. Jim Stirling on

    My Mate Danny Boyle was cutting through Glasgow Green last Friday to meet up with me
    And noticed James Mc Carthy was training on his own
    Danny asked him if he would sign for Celtic
    His reply was that he was in Glasgow to sign for them and was waiting for the call come on Celtic get this guy signed or we will loose out again

    • Totally agree Jim …..
      As we know James has been mentioned plenty of times over the years,
      but with Broonie in the Team , I don’t think that would have worked……
      This is exactly who we need in the midfield just now ,
      a guy with a premiership experience north and south of the border,
      and a real grafter in the heart of that of the Team ……..
      Bring James in. “NOW” or somebody else will take him ……